I'm a night owl. I often go to bed after midnight and last night was no exception. I drifted off to a Benedryl enhanced sleep thinking about where I was 11 years ago. Just after midnight on March 11 Kim's breathing was getting noticeably shallower. Those of us gathered in her room and down the hall in the waiting area knew she was getting close to her ultimate healing. Of course I'll always remember those moments.
Eleven years later and here in Ukraine, ironically, I attended a funeral and two graveside services yesterday. A couple of the cemeteries here in town are absolutely massive. Customary in this part of the world is to have large tombstones with etchings- a picture- of the deceased. Strange to me at first but I have to admit walking through the cemetery you get more of a sense that these were real people. It's like walking through a huge crowd of people frozen in granite.
I awoke this morning still thinking about this weekend 11 years ago. Kim's time of death was 2 am, March 12. After completing some paperwork all of who were gathered made our way back to Gulfport in the wee hours of the morning. I collapsed in our bed and woke up a few hours later that Sunday morning feeling like I had to hold it together, so I did I guess. I wrote Kim's obituary that morning before even getting out of bed. I contacted my friend David, once a fellow youth minister but by then working at local funeral home, to begin making arrangements.
I skipped church that Sunday. I won't skip today. I'll leave in about an hour and I'll be surrounded by people that have no idea what this day is to me. That sort of hurts but it's not their fault. And with two funerals yesterday there will be more than enough grieving today.
Something else that's been on my mind this weekend. I have a friend back in Mississippi who is alive and well with CF. He's fathered children, he's a tremendous professional in the field of education, and he's an advocate for those living with CF. One of his Facebook posts' this past week caught my attention and I've been following the story myself since then.
There's a precious young girl named Libby Hankins from Alabama that's fighting for her life right now at Duke University Hospital. She has CF and she had a double-lung transplant last year. Her body is rejecting the lungs right now. There's a Facebook Group called Lungs for Libby and on that site I've watched news videos and slideshows and read many testimonies about her life and how she's impacted so many people not only in her small Alabama town but all over the world.
I'm praying for you Libby. I don't even know how exactly to pray. I'm praying the Lord will use these dire circumstances to show the world His power and glory and compassion and mercy by healing your body; I'm praying He will comfort your friends and family and bless them with more of your presence- like, years and years more of your presence.