I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. (John 11:25)
I began volunteering for the Flint Pregnancy Counseling Center in 1996. As a result I have made many new friends. Some are fellow volunteers and some are clients. I have attended 3 client related funerals, one of which was a client who had become a very dear friend. For the sake of her family, I will call her Cindy. This is her story.
On January 12, 1998 Cindy came to our center for a pregnancy test. She looked very young and I was surprised to learn that she was 28 years old and happily married. She and her husband Tom were hoping for a child to love. I knew immediately that she was handicapped. She explained to me that she had a milder form of Muscular Dystrophy. I know very little about the disease, but Cindy suffered from slurred speech and weak muscles. Many people with her disease don’t live past the teenage years but she, at age 28 was still in relatively good health.
We did a pregnancy test and it was positive. She was very happy and at this time she informed me that a couple of years previously, she had given birth to a baby boy who had died two hours after birth. I recommended that she see a doctor immediately.
Over the next months following her pregnancy test I kept in close contact with her. We talked on the phone about once a week. Her doctor had told her that she couldn’t promise that this baby would be okay, but at this point everything looked good. Her due date would be July 14th. In the meantime Cindy concentrated on taking good care of herself and making room for the new baby in their apartment.
On May 4, 1998 Cindy called to tell me she had given birth to a baby girl. They named her Nicole Lynn. She had been born nine weeks early and weighed only 2 lbs. 8 oz. She was flown immediately to Ann Arbor, MI where she could get the care she needed. In spite of all this Cindy and her husband were encouraged and hopeful.
When little Nicole was 3 days old her mother was well enough to travel to Ann Arbor to see her. Upon arrival they were informed that she was having serious problems. She had a blood disease, her lungs were underdeveloped, and she had inherited her mother’s M.D. On May 7, 1998 she died in her mother’s arms.
This was a sad day for Cindy and her husband. Their precious little girl for whom they’d had so many hopes and dreams was gone. God in His almighty wisdom had taken her from them.
During the year or so following Nicole’s death, Cindy and I kept in touch. Her husband had also become a good friend to my husband and I, and the two of them had come to our home often.
On Saturday Sept 4, 1999, a year and four months after the death of their child, we received more sad news. Tom called to tell us that Cindy had died suddenly in the night of a heart attack. The doctors felt that it had been disease related.
She had spent the entire day previously working at the fire department helping to raise money for MDA. She was well known and loved among the firemen. No one was a stranger to her and she had many friends. This was a sad day for all who had known her.
Cindy loved the Lord with all her heart. She was never shy or ashamed about expressing her faith and I have no doubt that she is in heaven. She was a courageous young woman and her life enriched mine tremendously. She taught me patience and understanding. She taught me to look at the heart and she taught me to accept the circumstances of life as the will of God and not look back, but keep moving forward. I am thankful to God for our short friendship and I look forward to seeing her when He calls me home.
She loved to sing and if she were able to communicate with me from heaven, I can almost hear her singing the words of this song:
When you look for me, look around the throne. I’ll be singing with the Angels there; singing glory to His name, and forever I’ll be changed, so look for me around the throne. (She would want to be sure I could find her once I got there.)
As believers and Christians, we need not despair when those we love are taken from us in death. Although it is sad to say good bye, we have the sure hope of seeing them again in heaven. God has promised and His promises never fail.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices. My body also will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence. (Acts 2: 26-28)
By Kristeen – To God be the Glory!