DSCN4982 - Where I've Been....

Hello everybody! Happy Monday!

Are you all excited it’s a Monday? Likely not. who likes Mondays? But I must say that I’m feeling more invigorated than usual, because I just got back from vacation yesterday. We went on a cruise with the four of us, my husband’s parents, and my nephew, who turned 16 while away. We had a great deal where the kids almost sailed free, so it was just such a blessing to get away and have some time with each other.

I didn’t announce I was leaving before I went because I have known a blogger who announced it, and then got robbed while she was gone. Yelling to everyone on Facebook and your blog that you’re leaving seems too much like placing a “Come rob my house! It’s empty!” neon sign above your door. So if you’re wondering why I didn’t jump in in the comments last week, that’s why. I even had some blogging buddies email me asking where I was, and expressing concern, which I thought was so special! It’s great to feel like we’re making real friendships through this.

So yes, I was more than fine, and I’m more than fine now that I’m home, because I feel rejuvenated (and, to be honest, it was so relaxing to be away from the computer for a week). Next time maybe I’ll just say that I’m busy for a week and I won’t schedule posts!

Anyway, as wonderful as the vacation was, I came home to the very sad news that a friend of mine’s 15-year-old daughter passed away last Thursday. It wasn’t a surprise; Katie had had cancer for several months, and it had gone into her lungs. I didn’t know Katie, but I did know her grandparents and her mom a bit. It wasn’t like I am very close to the family. We followed her journey on Facebook, and I prayed a lot for them, but I don’t KNOW them.

Yet I can’t convey to you the sadness I felt, sitting in the Tampa airport yesterday and checking Facebook. I feel sad for her family that is left behind. I feel sad for Katie’s older sister Jacqui, with whom we are a little more acquainted. I think of my own two girls, and how they would be if either of them passed away. It would be a hole you never, ever filled this side of heaven.

They are a wonderful family of faith, and God has really sustained them, yet that does not make it any less sad. Death is just awful. It was never meant to be this way.

Katie’s funeral will be huge this week. They are very well connected in our small little geographical area, involved in so many community things. It will be a big comfort to the family, I think, to see how many people support them. And yet I can’t fathom how many tears will flow.

It seems such a juxtaposition, to get back from a wonderful family vacation, only to hear that another family has been so wrenched. It is not that I am sorry I went; on the contrary, I think I’m even more glad. We don’t know what the future will bring. A year ago Katie was a track star, active in her high school, surrounded by tons of friends and a promising future. Today she is singing with Jesus.

My nephew is 16, and we wanted to do something to show him that we really do care about him, and so we took him with us. It was really a bonding time again, and we needed that. When he grows up, I want him to look back and know that his aunt and uncle love him. I want my girls to have memories like that, too.

And so this week, as I get back into the business of blogging and editing my book and homeschooling, I will say a prayer for Katie’s family.

I have this song on my iPod, and I’ve been singing it to myself for the last few months, thinking of Katie everytime. She had her leg amputated about a month before she died, because of the cancer, and I always think of the “Dance with Jesus” verse for her, and now the “Fly to Jesus”. I’ll just leave it with you, in case you’ve never heard it. It really is beautiful.