My aunt, my mother's only sister, was diagnosed with an aggressive lung cancer. We got the call telling us about the diagnosis last Friday, the 11th. My husband and I jumped in the car that night, and drove five hours up to Fremont, CA where we slept in the parking lot of the hospital until close to visiting hours.
Walking in that room, my aunt was obviously trying to draw breath, but still able to talk to me. We visited for that hour or so I was there alone, both of us knowing it might be the last time. She and I had talked many times before about her belief in Jesus as her savior, and I was confident that she knew Christ, but I asked anyway. I needed to hear it, and she nodded her head so eagerly I know she didn't mind my question.
The doctors came, told us that there was slight hope, and we'd have to watch, do procedures over the weekend, and see if she improved.
After briefly doing better on Sunday, she declined and by Monday afternoon she was being given comfort care. As a family, we sat by her bedside for four days - most of us nearly nonstop. Some sang, some checked the monitors constantly, some fidgeted with the blankets and were always trying to make sure she was covered, others wanted to drill the doctors with questions, getting as much information as possible. All of us coped in different ways.
Finally early Wednesday morning she drew in one final breath. She went home to be with God, finally out of pain, able to breathe freely, and to sing like the angels. We wish she were here - but really, she wishes we were there with her. She loves her life in heaven.
So my post now is about passing on a legacy. Passing something along to others to share with others and so on.
My aunt grew roses, and I have determined I'm going to try to grow my own bushes from cuttings off her rosebushes. I've got at least twenty started from cuttings I got this last week. At this point I feel like they're my new 'babies'.
new 'babies' in the household now.
We pass on the wisdom we learn from God, we pass on the heritage of loving our family.
Do your children know you love God?
Do your children know some of the things that God teaches you in your devotions?
My aunt might have had faults - who doesn't - but she left some lessons to learn.
She gave to a fault - to the point where she was sometimes taken advantage of, but she wasn't bitter - at least in her later years.
She spoke her mind - and was still growing in that area. She and I spoke awhile back about adding loving to speaking the truth. She told me God had been teaching her that just because something is true, it doesn't mean it has to be said out loud. She was willing to speak her mind, but also willing to admit she might still need to learn a thing or two. She wasn't too proud to admit that.
My aunt had her problems, she had her faults, some might even look at her past and judge her, maybe even harshly. But God saw her heart. He knew she struggled, but He also saw her turning to Him for help. He saw her wanting to do what was right, and He saw her asking Him for forgiveness when she failed. She is the epitome of 'Better is the end of a thing than the beginning."
Let her lessons be passed down to the rest of our family.
And remember, whatever God gives you, pass it on. God teaches us for a two-fold purpose - to improve US, and to improve OTHERS around us, through us, after us.
Pass it on.