Here were some thoughts on the way over from Bangkok to LA.
Such mixed emotions. I am on my first 747 flight. Always wanted to do this. Ever since I was a wee bairn, I have flown all over the place and longed wistfully to be on this big flying building. I would even be jealous of the UPS guys that got to fly on the jumbo cargo runs.
But it’s just not the same. Some of the luster is gone. I wanted to share this with my best friend. This and so many other little things. She liked the things I didn’t when we would go to eat. I thought about saving the yogurt on the plane for breakfast for her this morning. I hate yogurt.
Then it caught me again, like trying to get out of the car with your seatbelt still on. I forget she’s not here until it’s too late to prepare my heart for the jolt back into the car. I just want to get out, but I keep getting pulled back in.
I don’t mind remembering. I even embrace the sadness at times, so I don’t get hardened and brittle. Brokenness is where the potter can start over. Remake me Lord, I am broken. I want to stop forgetting so the sadness doesn’t startle me, just gently reminds me to miss her.
Peace and comfort I have received in the knowledge that so many people are doing so many things to make this easier. People caring for my children, comforting them, hugging them, standing in the gap until I can get back to them. Some friends have gone to the house to get it ready for us to arrive. There are even people making plans for the memorial service, so we won’t have to carry the entire burden of that.
The celebration service is Saturday 11 a.m. at First United Methodist in Longview. It was one of the few places in town big enough for all of you to attend. Plus she loved the sanctuary there. And it is not a funeral, but a memorial celebration. The family will not be all in black, nor do we expect you to be either. A wise friend from home in China noted Ruth dressed so colorfully and vibrantly (inside and out), that we should honor that. (He had only known her a few weeks, yet she had already made an impression). Good idea.
I only packed to stay a few days with Ruth after surgery. My aunt came down from China to stay with Ruth for a couple of weeks while she recovered fully. Then I think they were going shopping. Ruth had an excuse (she didn’t really need one), since she had lost a dress size or two after the operation and recovery.
My cousin David packed for all three boys in 15 minutes as they were trying to catch a flight to Bangkok, and it was leaving soon. (Thanks David, you got us together quicker than I could have dreamed).
Since the boys and I brought very little clothing with us to Thailand, we went and bought some things to wear this weekend. Things Ruth would have liked us in. (Plus they were on sale, she would be so proud). So join us in this celebration of a life that brought so much joy and wisdom to so many. Share with us the joy and laughter she brought to us. Cry with us too. It is so sad to go on without her. But she is doing her funny little dance now in front of a Savior who she loved so intimately. Let’s get together and share what she means to us and how He used her to show us joy and grace and beauty.