My precious Aunt Ruth went home to be with Jesus a few days ago. It was totally unexpected for her to leave us at this time and it has been hard knowing that she is gone. Yes, it has been a comfort to know where she is and that she is rejoicing but the empty hole that she left in our family seems enormous.
As I have grieved, I have remembered the last sweet visit that we had with her in November. I remember the four days of togetherness and the feeling of "belonging" that was always there. I never dreamed that would be the last time that I saw her but I remember vividly the sweet hug, the tone in her voice as she urged us to hurry back soon and her generosity as she slipped me a jar of cherry jelly that I had particularly liked when she served it with breakfast. I remember both of us speaking of our love for each other. Now that she is gone, I am so grateful for that visit. I am so grateful that I told her how much I loved her and vice versa.
A good friend of mine told me many years ago, "Karen, don't wait until people that you love die and send flowers that they will never appreciate. Let them know how much you love them now while they can really treasure the knowledge of your love for them." I was a very young woman at the time and that was some of the wisest advice that I have ever been given. My aunt died knowing how much I loved her and I am so glad. But if you will indulge me, I'd like to say it one more time, "Aunt Ruth, I love you beyond words and cannot wait until I am able to see you again. Thank you for the immense impact and input you had in my life. I treasure every memory!"
Do you have someone that you need to tell you love while there is still time? You never know when a goodbye may be the very last one on this earth! While you are at it, make sure that they know Jesus as their Lord and Savior!