A prisoner of her own body for over 25 years, my father's dear cousin Kathy was set free this week. She had resided in what had remained of her body, wracked with Multiple Sclerosis, suffering in silence and isolation.
I have a vivid memory of her, young and beautiful, commenting on her lovely children, "I prayed that my children would be healthy. I didn't care if they were beautiful -- yet God made them healthy AND beautiful. What a wonderful God we serve."
I remember this moment often. She seems angelic in my memory, radient. Her own health was already waning, she knew of her disease. Her husband eventually would leave her in her ailing state with her 2 beautiful children. Her son shortly followed him. Her daughter was left to care for her, never wanting to leave her side, calling the ambulance when her mother would collapse from time to time. She was only 12. Eventually the authorities had to remove the child from the home (she was relocated to the home of her aunt) and shortly thereafter had to remove Kathy to a nursing home where her health gradually declined unto her death.
She suffered for more than 25 years. For most of that time all of the thoughts she had, all of the revelations she may have experienced, all of the visions she may have had -- all remained within her. I wonder if she prayed? I wonder if she felt lonely or abandoned? I wonder how many more are out there like her?
Kathy was laid to rest today. She is the first of her generation to go home to heaven. She's a walkin' talkin' girl now -- and I'll bet she's just beautiful.
++Lord, watch over Kathy's mother, her brothers, and her children, her cousins. They have lived with this grief for many years. Help them to heal.
"I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33