My Dearest Angie,
Today is your 42nd birthday. I know you are celebrating bigger and better than we could ever imagine here on earth! You are celebrating with Jesus…..how great is that for you? I have to say if I could invite anyone to my birthday, it would be Him and you are celebrating with Him today and everyday. As happy as I am for you; I am so sad for me. I wish I could celebrate just one more birthday with you; but I know that isn’t possible until we meet again.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you. I see your picture everyday as I have several of them around my house. I walk by, smile and always say hi. Some days, I get teary-eyed if I stand and look at them too long. Your life….the impact that you made on so many people; but especially me stays with me like you are still here.
Your faith in the Lord; that faith and hope that you clung to until you took your last breath and met our Savior face-to-face is absolutely your greatest legacy not only to your children, but your family, friends and even those that never had the privilege of meeting you, but have heard your story. A story that everyone needs to hear. A story of the bravest woman I have ever known that fought a battle that NO ONE should ever have to fight. A story of how cancer grew in your body three different times and each time you fought it with grace, perseverance, hope, faith, trust and believing each time you would be healed! You never lost sight of the Lord. You never let cancer, the “evil one” (aka the devil) or the awful treatments you went through get the best of you. You continued to work until the week before the Lord called you home. You were out Christmas shopping for your sweet children just days before your last breath here on earth was taken. You fought until the bitter end a battle that most people (me included) would have given up on and quit; but you never did!
You and I shared many moments during your 4 year ordeal with cancer. We shared many conversations; some of which I would never repeat to anyone because I hold those moments so precious and private between you and I. But, there was one thing that rang true through your whole battle and that was the way you loved the Lord. You NEVER once blamed Him for your struggles. You NEVER once thought why you and not someone else. You NEVER let it shake you or your faith. You held fast and true with long-suffering, gentleness, goodness and faith.
As I remember you today, on this your special day it gives me renewed strength. A strength that I am drawing from you. A strength that you taught me, not because you “talked” it, but because you actually walked it and lived it! I watched you struggle and suffer; yet never complain. I watched you fight yet you did it with a smile on your face. I watched you accept the unacceptable and you did it with humility, love, grace and peace. I watched you, physically weak and tired; but yet so very strong too. You, my friend are the reason I keep pressing on. I have wanted so many times to give up this year with all we have been through with Hannah but then I think of you and I know YOU never once gave up and I won’t either! You might not be with us physically, but you are with us in every other sense! You are here! Your legacy lives on…..you might be gone but you are never forgotten.
I have the great honor of taking your sweet mom to dinner tonight along with Misti and Whitney. We did this last year on your birthday too and want to make sure we do it every year. It is our way of celebrating you! What an honor for the 3 of us to be able to spend your special day with your sweet mom and show her just how loved she is. I know her heart aches every.single.day. It is an ache I cannot imagine and one I never want to experience. So, I pray that tonight your sweet mom feels loved, honored and respected just the way that you would want her to feel; the way you always made her feel.
I love you, I miss you and I cannot wait to be reunited with you in Heaven! I pray our mansions are right next door to each other; although if mansions are given out by our faith, grace and good deeds here on earth…..your mansion will be high on a mountain and mine will be in the valley next door to my dad! HA!
I love you my sweet friend! Happy Birthday!
Until next time……….