Wednesday, August 15, 2007

God Speed, Kathy Albright

Two days ago an acquaintance of mine (not really a friend, but someone whose company I had enjoyed over the short time I'd known her before she was diagnosed with melanoma) passed away after a year and a half of illness. She will be sorely missed by her family and her friends. She will be missed by those of us who didn't know her well and were inspired by her heart for the Lord and her love for others. It's so sad when someone has to leave us so early in their life. Death is so much easier to accept when a person has had a long, industrious and successful life, well loved and a pillar of their family than when they leave small children and work seemingly only half done.

Fortunately, we can count on God knowing what he's doing. We don't know what the future will hold, but he does. I think of my great grandmother's first husband, drowned attempting to rescue his friend, leaving her and his less than a year old daughter. She, Ella Jane, was so devastated that her in-laws (with whom they had been living) said they had to watch her to make sure she didn't wander off and injure herself. She was beyond grief. But years later she married my great grandfather and my grandmother was born about twelve years after her first husband died. This isn't to say that the death of Elmer Atwater was a blessing, but without it I wouldn't be writing this post. Life is strange and only understood from the end looking back. Do I wish her first husband had died? No. Am I glad she married my great grandfather? Well, yes!

An old testament professor I had in college years ago said that the Old Testament Israelites had a concept that they looked at the past and walked backward into the future (figuratively) because the future was unknown and could not be seen. Jeremy and family, I hope you can see Kathy, your dearly loved, clearly through your tear-filled eyes as you look into the past and that you can keep trusting the Father of Lights as you walk backwards into the coming days. My heart is sad for you. There are no words at a time like this.