Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Remembering Jackie

I planned a clever little post about how wonderful it is to be a writer. It is—but I’ll save all the good stuff about how a writer can work at home in jammies for later. But then there was yesterday. Yesterday, was a much more somber day. Yesterday, we buried my precious sister-in-law, Jackie. She lost her battle with cancer but won a crown in heaven.

Ron and Jackie
Forty-five years ago Jackie served as matron of honor at my wedding. That was the day she became my sister…officially. She was already a believer as was I, so we were already part of the same family.

I have some sweet memories of my sis. Like the spring we were both expecting our firstborn children. They were born three months apart. Sharing that time with a sister is special. We compared notes and shared dreams.

And there was the day our husbands were across the Florida lake fishing. We decided to clean up the beach since Easter was right around the corner. We picked up branches and debris from the area. We lifted an old deflated inner tube, revealing a mass of squiggly baby snakes. Our screams could be heard throughout the neighborhood as we made a mad dash for the dock.

We yelled for help from our husbands, telling them there were baby snakes on the beach. They yelled back for us to kill the snakes. They kept fishing.

“ Kill them?”  We looked at each other. I know the men probably intended for us to get a hoe and chop off little snake heads or something, but that would put us well within the ten-foot-pole range we wouldn’t touch.

We were problem solvers though. We went into the house and got our father-in-law’s loaded revolver. We stood on the dock and took turns aiming and shooting at those baby snakes.

I can honestly say there was not one snake left alive under that inner tube. They all managed to squiggle away. The inner tube didn’t make it and I’m quite sure neither of us ventured into that water until late summer.

Jackie with 2 of her Grands
When Tom and I retired to Florida we lived next door to Ron and Jackie. They, too, were retired so we were able to enjoy each other’s company in a new way. Now the talk was about camping and playing with our grandchildren.

One night when the electric went out in the neighborhood, Ron and Jackie walked over to our house for dinner. We grilled out and made a salad. The four of us talked around the table until sunset when we decided to head out for dessert. We found a McDonald’s a few miles away that still had electricity so we ducked in for ice cream and coffee. Memories like that are meaningless to most, but that quiet night of conversation, good food, and ice cream is a moment I will forever treasure.

The first day of this New Year Jackie and I sat in her living room and talked. Yes, we talked about the cancer. But we also we talked about our children and grandchildren. And we prayed. I’ve been thinking about that sun soaked day. It was my last time to hold her hand and talk and laugh.

I prayed for God to heal her. And he did.

It is because of her relationship with Christ I can find peace in all of this. I’ve studied God’s words. Jackie has a new body; one that is not riddled with that terrible disease. The illness and treatments for it had depleted her strength. Now, I know, she is stronger than ever.

I’m ending this post with a call to action.
First, please hug the people you love and spend time making memories.
Second, join with me in the fight against cancer.
Third, and this may be the most important: seek a relationship with God through His son, Jesus.
Finally, live a life as Jackie did. A life that reflects God’s incredible love for you.


  1. Such beautiful memories for you and her family. Such a godly spirit-filled life she led. I was sorry not to get to you yesterday. Prayers for Gods continued love, comfort, and guidance for all the family. Love you all.Tonya

    1. Thank you, Tonya for your thoughts and prayers. Jackie is indeed a precious woman...a woman of godly character.

  2. I can picture the two of you aiming at those snakes. What a fun memory. You two definitely grew up together and she was a precious person. Once again, what a special gift to us it is when those we love leave us without a doubt they are in heaven.

    1. Exactly! We have had that experience and I fully intend to pass it on. When I'm gone, Kendall I want all of you to celebrate because I will be standing shoulder to shoulder with your dad and your aunt and others...right there in the presence of Jesus!


Leave your comments here. I look forward to hearing from you.