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June 4

Tuesday, June 4th, 2024

Have you ever met someone whom you then know for years and don’t realize the impact you both have on each other? That is what happened to me back around 2006. One of the women in the church I pastor had a grandmother in a local nursing home. One day I went to visit her and in the process met her daughter. Her name was Carole.

Today, I have the privilege of conducting Carole’s funeral. Over the years my friendship with Carole deepened. I was there when her mother passed. I was there when her husband suffered from Parkinson’s and dementia and then passed. She attended another church in another town but that didn’t matter. After her husband of 50+ years passed, she began attending the church I pastor with her daughter and son-in-law. She was more traditional (hymns, suits and ties, etc) but she came anyway, until her health wouldn’t allow her. But I went to visit her in her home and would laugh and chat with her, and pray with her before I left. The past year or so had been one of excruciating pain and virtually being home bound, but she still had joy. (She made sure, even in the Hospice House bed, that we knew that before she became non-communicative).

Last Friday morning Carole met Jesus. I am convinced He met her with open arms. I suspect standing beside Him was her husband and her mother as part of the welcoming committee. Sure, there is speculation in what may actually happen, but it doesn’t matter. We can dream and speculate. But there is one truth that remains: Jesus has prepared a place for her-a mansion some call it-but I wouldn’t care if it was a shack. It’s a home in heaven.

My life is richer because of Carole. I have been told her life was richer because of me. I guess being asked to do her funeral is proof of that. 🙂  My last words to her when I left the Hospice House on Thursday (the day before her death) were “I love you Carole. I’ll see you later.”

I will.