When Life Gives Us . . .

Many of us are learning to make the most of what we had not planned.  Recently, we found a few lemons, and in squeezing them into a thick pudding, piled upon a cream cheese layer and a buttery crust, enjoyed one of the best desserts we’ve ever had.  We just had to see  the possibilities.

May 18th – a number of years ago brought my mom and dad a situation they had not planned.  A baby girl was born after a quick, breach labor – only to be whisked and whispered away.  When dad returned with tears, mom asked “what’s wrong?”  A growth had formed on the spine of their precious baby girl, a growth now known as spina bifida.

In those days, the doctors suggested just leaving her at Buckley Children’s home.  My mom responded: “No one is going to take my baby from me.”

By the time she was 2 years and 2 months, there were 3 of us, all of whom could not walk.  Surgeries near Seattle became a regular trip for both my sister and brother.  Schools made adjustments as mom saw possibilities.

Eight years ago today, a party was held for my sister on her birthday.  Her chariot wheelchair entered the rental hall packed with loved ones, coworkers, and relatives, aware of her joy in the midst of cancer.  Everyone knew this was a most remarkable person, for whom I have no memory of complaining.   Not when we water-skied, tried out for cheerleading, dated, or had weddings.  Our kids were always her kids.

Kathy loved the local church.  She served in several churches creating bulletin boards, listening to kids’ verses, teaching Sunday School, but mostly – she modeled “consider it all joy when you encounter various trials” (James 1:2).

Her entrance into a room was always: “What’s up, guys?” with a genuine interest in others.   Her ambrosia salad revealed she could take the sweet fruit and sour cream of life all together and pour it out for others.  Her rendition on flute or piano of “Because He lives I can Face Tomorrow” left her oblivious to the congregation’s tears.  Her needlework remains as Scripture inscribed on our walls.

At her funeral, Kathy’s boss recalled that as a drive-through bank teller Kathy already knew everyone’s bank account number by heart.  She was ready to serve, sending dog treats for pets through those plastic containers.

I don’t think we will ever meet anyone quite like her.  Ever.  She displayed His imago dei in perfection in the midst of imperfection.  Her trust fund lives on to care for others.

So on this day, when we might think we have a little bit of troubles, how about rejoicing?  And if you are living with a ‘lemon’ or two, consider the possibilities.

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