We had another reminder of the brevity of life yesterday. At 6:30 in the morning central time, a relative that isn't usually up at those hours started typing to us on Skype, and at the same time we also realized we had a message from John's dad.
As we listened to the message, both completely silent and looking into each other's eyes fearing that it may very well be bad news, we were shocked. John's aunt, Nancy Lee Schoening, passed away in her sleep early Sunday morning.
Naturally, dozens of questions crossed our minds. We had both been praying for her during her recent surgery, but had been notified that she was doing well and was recovering at home. Our emotions and thoughts quickly went from shock, to asking questions, to remembering the good times, to sorrow. John quickly recalled his first memory of Nancy; she took the kids to get Taco Bell and told them they could pick out whatever they wanted. John was not used to such luxuries, and I am sure he took full advantage! I can't help but to remember the multitude of times she made me feel part of the family. I always felt loved by her, and on a certain way I think we could connect since we were both in-laws and could relate to everything that entailed.
And of course, I shed tears for John's uncle, Terry. I generally have this intense need to empathize with people, not just sympathize for them. I put myself in their shoes and imagine what they are going through. And when I did that yesterday, I was completely devastated. Losing your mom and wife in a matter of three months, watching your world seem to crash down around you while you scramble to pick up the pieces.
John and I immediately grabbed hands and started praying, especially for his uncle, that the God of peace and comfort would grab hold of him. That he would by right there along side of him as he goes through the grieving process. And, that he is reminded of God's promises, that Nancy is no longer in pain and taking medications, but that she is in Heaven with her Father. When I think of those images, I am able to rejoice.