It’s one of the hazards of being married to someone who’s job requires you to move around a lot. It’s also a blessing.
You meet a lot of people. The problem being, you only get to spend so much time with them and then, you move on. So do they. That’s life.
But these last few days it’s been hard to be away from a place we once called home. A Beloved of ours went home to be with Jesus. It was only three weeks ago that she texted me to tell me that awful disease had returned. It didn’t look good but I didn’t think it would take her so fast. All I wanted to do was somehow get out to the East Coast. I couldn’t.
It’s been twelve years since we last saw each other. I thought I’d get to see her again.
Wendy and her husband, Dave embraced Mark and I like family when we lived in Fredericton, NB. They were our family away from home and when we had our first son, out there on the East Coast on our own, they became our East Coast grandparents. East Coast Nana we’d joke. They loved Ian and it’s my biggest regret she didn’t get to see him again. And meet Ben.
Ironically, a few weeks ago the topic of moving came up with Ian. He said he wouldn’t want to move again because he’d already grown up without his Windsor friends and he didn’t want to grow up without his Kitchener friends too. I know how he feels. Because he didn’t get to grow up with his Fredericton friends either, although he can’t remember them. But I do. I know what he missed out on. Because we miss them too.
I miss her big heart. Her sense of fun. There was always a silver lining to be celebrated. I didn’t really like brownies until I ate Wendy’s. And her chocolate marshmallow squares. A little slice of heaven. I miss her beautiful spirit. And the fun times we had whenever we were together even though some of the circumstances weren’t really great.
I remember looking at each other across our family room, during the Superbowl and the infamous wardrobe malfunction. “Did we really just see that?” and laughing about it later. I remember campsites and painting Easter eggs at their dining room table.
But it was their example of what a real Jesus follower looks like that left the biggest impact on our lives. They lived it. They belonged to our little church. They stuck it out when things got hard and followed God’s leading rather than anyone else’s. It’s rare to see that in church today. But if you come across people like Dave and Wendy, it’s a beautiful sight to behold. Their example of following Jesus, has probably spurred our family on these past years in ministry. They gave us hope that there might be others. Those who follow Jesus no matter what. That ministry is worth it.
Finally, I love how she and Dave love each other. Always evident. Always real. Something else to aspire to.
Thank you for sharing your life with us for those three short years Wendy. Because that’s what you did. You shared your beautiful self. It was a gift. I will always be grateful for you.