“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Psalm 116:15
Often when a younger person dies, we hear comments like, “She died before her time.” From our perspective it may seem true, but from God’s point of view, NO ONE dies before his or her time. This week our family gathered to say, “See you later,” to Patty Garrett. To be clear I must call her a sister-in-law, but she has been a part of our family for nearly 35 years so “Sister” seems more appropriate, both in family terms and in the Body of Christ.
Both the time of our birth and the time of our death remains in the hands of Our Sovereign God. On March 15 our church family welcomed a new member to our family. We rejoiced (and continue to) with the young Mom and Dad and first time grandparents, aunts and uncles!
On March 17, I received a call from my older sister who at age 70 is our 92 year old mom’s caregiver. Beginning the call she said she had bad news. Even though Patty (almost 57) had battled breast cancer years ago and for several months had been receiving chemo for its return as Stage 4, my thoughts did not go to her. My thoughts went to older members of my family. On March 20, Ronnie and I traveled to Wichita to visit Patty in the hospital. They had begun radiation treatments. While the cancer had metastasized to the brain and paralyzed her left side, she still smiled! Patty’s doctor had been out of town so they didn’t consult with him until Tuesday. At that point, they learned that neither chemo nor radiation would help. On Wednesday, they transported her home and set up hospice. Many family members from all over visited Patty during those last days of her life on this earth. Medical professionals can only guess as to how long a person will survive. Patty’s hospice nurse told the family that it could be hours or days. Early on April 1, Patty breathed her last breath. Untypical of Patty, she left an unsmiling shell that no longer served her as she is now in the gracious presence of our Sovereign Lord and Savior. We rejoice with her, but will miss her much. We gathered in Dodge City on April 5 to celebrate the life God gave her. Though Patty is now out of our sight, she will always be in our hearts and mind until such a time as we join her in Glory!! We pray for her immediate family as they seek to find their new normal without Patty. Much of Patty remains in the home she maintained. One wall decoration says, “God Is Good All of the Time.” We pray for members of the extended family who do not trust Our Sovereign Lord.
Thankful, that we now live close enough to make these trips.