Closest to Christ

Rodger and I meet with a small group every Friday night for dinner and conversation. This small group is a product of The Walk to Emmaus and is often referred to as a Reunion Group. It is a time to meet with others and share our experiences of our walk with Christ during the past week. One of the things often discussed is a Closest to Christ, the moment during the past week when you felt closest to Christ.

The following text was my closest to Christ, written on July 27, 2006 …

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My aunt passed away early this morning. We got word yesterday that she was not doing well so my parents left town to be with the family. When they arrived at the hospital, the first thing my aunt said to my dad was that she didn’t have much time left. Two of my four cousins were at the hospital and my aunt kept asking where the others were. Once they were all there, they said their good-byes and a short time later, my aunt passed away. She was surrounded by her family: her four daughters, her little brother (my dad), her big sister, and her mother (my 90 year old grandma); all the people that love her the most. It amazes me that people have a sense that their time is running out and that they hold on until the ones they need are there.

Once I pulled myself out of bed this morning, I went downstairs to let the dogs outside. On our deck we have two hibiscus plants, a pink one and a red one. They produce beautiful blooms, but hardly ever at the same time, or with even more than one bloom at a time. This morning, there were four blooms; one pink and three red. The pink bloom was fully open and pointed towards the sky. The red blooms were still working on opening all the way and were facing the ground. One red bloom was resting on the rail of the deck.

I immediately thought of my family. The pink one, which stood higher than the rest, represents my grandma. The three red blooms represent her children; my dad, and two aunts. The red bloom that is resting on the rail represents my aunt who passed away. Then, as I sat here typing this and looking at the blooms again, another thought came to mind. What if the pink bloom that is fully open and facing the sky is my aunt? She is finally free of all the pain and sickness and is in heaven where she can bloom to her fullest. The three red blooms that are facing the ground are my dad, aunt and grandma, mourning the loss of their loved one. The red bloom that is resting on the rail is my grandma who needs the extra support, for no one should have to endure the loss of a child.

God works in wonderful ways and I believe He opened those blooms this morning in memory of my aunt.

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On Mother’s Day of this year, I received a beautiful bouquet of spring flowers from a friend. She told me that she was thinking of me and asked about how my emotions were that day, knowing that it would be a bittersweet day for me. The bouquet consisted of pale pink, yellow and white flowers, mostly daisies and mini carnations. There were multiples of all of the flowers, except for one, a beautiful Gerber Daisy. This particular daisy stood out to me not only because of it being the only one like it in the bunch, but also because of its color. It was a perfect blend of various shades of pink, with just a touch of yellow. Most Gerber Daisies are bright, vibrant colors, while this one was pale and subtle. It instantly made me think of Kyleigh.

I took the flowers home and put them in a vase on the kitchen counter. The next morning, all of the flowers were standing tall, except for the Gerber Daisy. It had already drooped, falling over well beyond the top of the vase. Seeing its beautiful petals facing the ground made me think of the words from above that I wrote almost six years ago about my Aunt Alma’s death. I thought back to the pain that my aunt went through as she suffered from a cancer that eventually took her life. I thought about my grandmother who had to bury her daughter and how at that time, I could not imagine ever having to do that. Little did I know as I typed those words almost six years ago that I would experience that same pain of burying a daughter. Kyleigh was welcomed into heaven by my aunt and grandma that I speak of here. While it still saddens me that they have left us, it brings me joy to know that they are taking care of Kyleigh now.

All of the other flowers continued to thrive and stand tall for well over a week. I left the Gerber Daisy in the vase until the other flowers were ready to be disposed of. It was a reminder to me that no matter how beautiful and perfect something appears, whether it’s a flower or my daughter, some things are just not strong enough to sustain life. The pink and yellow Gerber Daisy was not strong enough to sustain life. Kyleigh was not strong enough to sustain life. Sometimes all that is needed is a little support to make it through. The red hibiscus was not strong enough to hold itself up. It needed support. Loved ones who are fighting cancer are not strong enough to hold themselves up. They need support. Mothers who have endured the death of a child are not strong enough to hold themselves up. They need support.

As I write this, my maternal grandmother is waiting for God to call her Home. It brings me peace to know that Kyleigh is waiting for her great-grandma to join her in heaven. Grandma has had the support of many during her fight with cancer, but now her body is not strong enough to sustain life. Please continue praying for my family. We need the support.

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One thought on “Closest to Christ

  1. Beauty from ashes, your loving words are such an inspiration. I hope when are putting these thoughts down they are as healing for you as they are helpful for others. Thank you for sharing your most painful & precious thoughts with us.
    It is so sad to be here in this world and suffer through the pain of losing our precious loved ones but what a glorious reunion it will be in heaven one day!
    I continue to keep you & your family in my prayers… Love you!
    Pam

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