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Resurrection People

March 30, 2018

Jackie, at our daughter’s wedding.

Another Way for week of March 30, 2018

Resurrection People

It seems like my husband and I have been going to a lot of funerals or memorial services lately, for people we have known and loved. I’m thinking about all these friends as we come to this beautiful and life-affirming Easter season. We are Easter people! For Christians, our supreme hope and belief is that life does not end this side of the grave, but goes on in everlasting joy with God.

I want to share one story of a loving and helpful friend named Jackie. She would have been 89 this coming April. Widowed at an early age, these later years had not been kind. She occupied a house that was unsafe, but our small group from church did not know how to help her with that. Whenever we went to drop off food or good water, she never wanted any of us to come inside. So it was somewhat a relief when she was hospitalized after a bad fall, and social services moved her to a nursing home for rehab. At least there we knew she had safe drinking water and healthy food, with people looking out for her, and not living by herself in pitiful conditions.

We did not know much about her family but she adopted us as family—she often said that. By us I mean a small group who operated a free clothes closet for the community at Trinity Presbyterian. We enjoyed worship, fellowship, and nurture times in addition to the mission of the clothes closet. Jackie first came as a client at the closet—but quickly asked if she could also volunteer and help give out clothing. Our long time organizer, Emily, opened her arms and heart and Jackie felt love, acceptance and the important gift of being needed.

The Trinity Clothes Closet at an earlier location.

Then Jackie somehow lost contact with us after the closet had to move its location twice. But she reconnected at the memorial service for Emily back in 2006. She read about Emily’s death In the newspaper. Jackie began helping out at the closet again and called us her family as she hugged and kissed each of us goodbye when she worked. She adored Mr. Jim as the husband of Emily, and was excited to attend his 90th birthday party the year before he died.

Jackie, seated, chatting with a Trinity friend at the wedding reception.

When my second daughter got married a few years ago, there were extra seats available at our reception venue, and kind of at the last minute, I invited everyone from the small group including Jackie, even though she did not know our daughter who lived out of state. Jackie was thrilled. She got dolled up in a white pantsuit with lovely necklace, earrings, and pretty shoes. I think she felt like Cinderella invited to the ball. When this daughter had her second son and he needed to be hospitalized for over three weeks at a children’s hospital, she prayed earnestly for our little grandson. I will never forget that. In this past year as Jackie’s health continued to decline, I think she asked me about that child every time she saw me.

A distant relative of Jackie’s eventually offered to care for Jackie in her own home because Jackie begged to be removed from the nursing home. Patricia cared for her as she would have her own mother—she did not have a large home but provided Jackie a room with a bed that faced a window where she could watch the world go by on a country road. Jackie entered hospice care four months ago.

There’s much more to her story—much I don’t know but I do know she always had a sweet word of affirmation or “God loves you” to share with clothes closet clients.

Jackie’s pain and ailments and suffering are over as she now waltzes the streets of that eternal home, perhaps in a beautiful white garment not made by hands. There she’s meeting my dad, Mr. Jim, Emily , Chad, and all the saints: Peter, Paul, Mary , Lydia and many more.

I used to feel sorry for Jackie. No more! She’s got it made while we labor on. I want to remember her gift of warm and open acceptance for us all, and deep need to be hugged and cherished. May I become more like Jackie.

***

Whose life has impacted yours in a special way? I’d love to hear and share your story.

***

A blessed and beautiful Easter to all!

Write to me at anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, Box 363 , Singers Glen, VA 22850.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

 

 

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3 Comments
  1. Right now I’m listening to the Nelons singing “Well Done, My Child,” which seems an epigraph for Jackie’s life.

    Also these words seem appropriate from I Thess. 4:16: For the LORD himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first . . . ” The resurrection is coming!

  2. Lucinda J permalink

    I love this! It is beautiful.

    • I’m glad you got to read Jackie’s story–and that you have visited Trinity and know the place a bit! You get around! Thanks for commenting.

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