It's been just over year now since my cousin Jimmy passed. But his laughter haunts my thoughts as I struggle to get through spiritual problems in my life. When he was diagnosed with cancer he was very open to everyone about it. He had struggled for years with MS and this was just another fight in his daily battle for life. He had every right to be angry with God for letting this happen to him, again, a man who had a wonderful wife, loving kids and a lot going for him.
But he didn't get angry...at least not that any of us saw or heard. What we heard and read on his social media pages was his request for prayers, when days were good and bad...his concern for his wife and kids...going with his wife to buy her a new car so she wouldn't have to worry after he was gone about their old one. His one request to his aunts and uncles and cousins was to come together one summer day and enjoy a good old reunion, like the old days when we were all younger and had fun times together.
So any many of us did join him that day...young and old...gathered round his bright beaming face as we sang old family songs...told stories mostly about him as a kid...and enjoyed the love that was so very present in that room. Angry at God? How could any of us be angry when God had instilled something in Jimmy that brought all of us together to share one final moment with him? He was just going home...maybe a little earlier than we wished or expected, but like all of us, he was continuing on his journey to our real home. And Jimmy was ready.
He thanked everyone for coming...he was ecstatic that so many of us came. We were all overcome at his courage. My husband still talks about his courage...how he met his illness with an even stronger faith, faith that shamed all the rest of us. His faith that God was taking care of him, his wife and kids, his mother and siblings, and the rest. His laughter and love for us was never more apparent that day. A beautiful day we all remember.
That is faith...I only pray I can be so faithful.