“I have always avoided funerals like the plague,” Bill confessed, as gratitude flooded his emotions, realizing what others overcame in order to help him in his time of need.
Bill wants to say, “Thank you,” although the words do not seem like enough, when compared to the tsunami of serving, cards, flowers, donations, prayers and love that hit his home in the last few weeks since Jackie’s sudden illness and end of life on this earth. He stood in awe as the hands of brothers and sisters in Christ were extended – and continue to extend- in so many areas of his life, and the lives of his children and Jackie’s family.
Thank you to the hospitals’ staffs who worked around the clock to care for Jackie. Thank you especially to the ICU doctors and nurses at Henry Ford, the nurses at the station who monitored visits, and the volunteers who helped crowd control. Thank you to those who filled the hospital waiting rooms. There were friends who left their homes hours away, to come by Bill and Jackie’s side. Thank you. There were those who flew in from out of town – Colorado, Bahamas, California, and Florida to name a few – to express their love. The Lewis home turned into a full house of people sleeping in every bed, then overflowing to every floor space available, leaving the kitchen teeming with love. Several times a day, meals for the 40+ people arrived by a volunteer at the door…often unnamed, or even treated like a “stranger” delivery person, since the ones accepting the delivery did not know the volunteer’s connection to Jackie. Thank you. Children were taken to sleepovers. Funeral dresses were bought. A rented piano showed up at church. Clothes were provided for family to avoid their driving home to pack. Thank you. Unsung heroes showed up before dawn to shovel the newest ten inches of snow, or hand-escort family-members to their cars on the steep hill of the Lewis home. Trash disappeared, although it had overflowed the garage on days the trucks didn’t come. Neighbors stopped by to share their surprisingly similar story to Bill’s. Thank you. Funeral arrangements were made; obituary written. Business commitments were filled in by proxies, with none dropped. Kids’ activities kept the world turning in their own way.
For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. (1Cor 12:12)
It will be hard to move on; we know the loss is permanent in this life, but the despair is not. Somehow, the kindness and love of those surrounding seems to ease the burden. For that, we are immensely thankful.
We appreciate your continued prayer in the days and years ahead.
On to a million lives touched by Jackie’s handprints…
Bill, Jacob, Eli, Bella and Nemo
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2Cor 4:16-18)