The problem with getting older is you spend far too much time at funerals and cemeteries. Both are man-made, and neither was a part of God’s original plan. Our present reality is the self-inflicted result of humanity’s rebellion. Death is a constant companion—an enemy not a friend—who dogs each of our steps beginning at birth. Death claimed one of my friends last week. She was far too young to die, but unexpectedly, that’s exactly what she did. One moment she was here, and the next…she was with Jesus. I mourn what I tell myself is a temporal separation, but I grieve the loss of her intimidating presence and daunting persona. She was a force to be reckoned with—a woman out to change all wrong into right. She made a difference wherever she went—and she went a lot of places.
She was blunt and bold. She said what she meant and meant what she said. She was rarely at a loss for words, and if so not for very long. Her words could be weighty and sharp or tender and compassionate depending on the circumstances. One thing you could always count on—her words were true. You always knew where you stood with her, and if you had any doubts she would clear those up without hesitation.
In fact, at times she scared me and we were dear friends. Not because she was bizarre or frightening, but because she was so comfortable in her own skin. She understood exactly who she was. She knew both her weaknesses and her strengths and she was not afraid of either. Those traits together made her the woman she was. Perhaps her ease with her own mortality is the destination we are all seeking.
She was an excellent wife, an exceptional mother, and an extraordinary grandmother. Her husband, her daughter, and her grandkids are all eternally marked by her self-sacrifice, her enduring love, and her bigger than life personality. Her contagious character is etched in each one like the date on a coin. They cannot deny it, or escape it—she has left an indelible mark that will not be erased. You can see her in their movements, hear her in their conversations, and feel her in their expressions of emotion.
I will miss her greatly, we all will—but in reality, she has probably replaced St. Peter as heaven’s border guard and is already stamping passports and welcoming the new arrivals to heaven. She is a take charge lady. Let’s give honor where honor is due.
Jacquie—we love you, we will miss you, but one thing is for certain—we will see you again one day soon.