We moved to the southern Oregon coast to become the youth pastors in a church there the September after I turned 24, hubby, me, and our two oldest daughters. Our youngest daughter wasn’t even a twinkle in her daddy’s eye yet.
Kathy attended the church there. She was what we called a prayer warrior, full of fiery passion for Christ, active in works of justice. She was outspoken, opinionated, hard working, strong. She was what the Bible calls “iron sharpening iron” in my life…she made me want to burn hotter for Christ, to be bolder in standing up for righteousness.
Five years later, we moved again. Over the years we stayed in touch with her off and on. She invited our family to go with her and her girls to a mission-based summer camp in Vernon B.C. At those camps our lives were changed, divine connections with people were made that altered the course of our life and ministry. I never thanked her. I never told her how much she meant to me, influenced me, helped shape who we became.
In the past dozen or so years we lost touch. Then I saw her daughters on facebook, and asked for her phone number. Calling her was something I meant to do, but I got busy, distracted. I never made the call.
Last week, her daughters posted on facebook that she had had a brain aneurism and was being life flighted to a hospital in my city. She was going to have brain surgery. This was a busy weekend, full of church activities and my siblings and I were also busy finishing the work on Mama’s house so it can go on the market this week. I wanted to go to the hospital to see her. I wanted to say, “I love you. Thanks for being an important part of my life.” I got caught up in the press of things needing done. I thought once she came out of surgery, regained consciousness, was more alert, then I’d go. But Saturday night, Kathy, went to be with Jesus. Now it’s too late to say thank you.
I didn’t sleep Saturday night. I cried tears of regret. I thought of a list of others who mean so much to me, but I’ve let the busyness of life keep me from telling them so. I don’t want to live a life of regrets. I don’t want it ever again to be too late to say thank you.
My continuing gratitude list #471-#480
-the official first day of summer
-waking up to birdsong
-waking up to sunshine
-baby granddaughter playing outside
-Mama’s new walker, and how tickled she is with it
-oldest granddaughter reading to me
-grandson having a sleepover at our house
-my siblings help with getting Mama moved, and getting her house all ready to sell