Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Today is a bit of a sad day for Kenny and me. One of the sweetest women who adopted Kenny when he started working at Second Baptist so many years ago is now finally cancer free and in the presence of our savior. We have been following her husband's posts of her course of treatment and were able to see her and her husband last night before she passed.
This morning when I awoke to a post stating that she had "gone home", and even all day yesterday after learning she had been moved to palliative care I was struck by how emotional I became. Let me be honest, I've known and loved Kenny for a bit over 3 years, but this family has known him for probably twice that.
Some of my first memories of dating Kenny involve sitting next to or behind this wonderful family in church. This family of four, (even with their matriarch gone this will always be a family of four), was there to celebrate with us at our wedding, to wish us luck and send us off on our journey to Chicago, and to welcome us back to Texas when God's plans led us back. This family even helped to provide basic necessities for Kenny when he first came to Houston and was starting out (i.e a bed and comforter set). I am struck by how giving and loving this family is, even in the midst of their trials they still had us over for dinner last summer (I regret that it had been so long since we'd seen them) and encouraged us in the midst of our own wilderness.
I guess I could easily blame the outpouring of emotion on pregnancy hormones, and frankly that's probably part of it, but I think it runs much deeper than just an excess of hormones in my body. This family, and especially this sweet woman, were so much a family to Kenny before I even knew him. How do you express your gratitude to someone who clearly loved and cared for your spouse when you weren't even aware of his existence? The glory and thanksgiving need to be given to God, and I know Tracy would agree.
When we heard that the cancer had returned, we were still in Chicago and I remember mentally preparing myself to send Kenny to Texas for a funeral. However God is gracious and merciful and granted this family another year-plus together to love on each other and grow together. God clearly fathered and mothered this family during these last weeks that must have been so difficult to bear on her husband and sons. I know what it's like to lose a father, but I can't imagine losing the person that I love most on this earth.
When I asked Kenny what his favorite memories of Tracy and her family were, he couldn't pinpoint exact instances, but was quick to point out their hospitality, generosity, and willingness to help house summer interns. Tracy has had such a huge impact on my husband's life, and I am inspired to want to have a similar impact on the lives of those around me. I didn't know Tracy well, but I know that she lived her life to follow Christ as best she could and loved on those around her whenever she could.
If you get to the bottom of this lengthy brain dump, please take a minute and say a prayer of comfort for Tracy's family, her husband, sons, parents, siblings, and her adopted family of so many individuals. Last night her husband said something that stuck with me, he said "we are sad for us, but happy for her that she gets to be cancer free". Praise God that Tracy is finally free!
"and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away" Isaiah 35:10