This isn't the type of entry I expected to be writing today; I received some very startling and sad new.
My dear, beloved mission companion, Georgia, lost her mother suddenly today. She died of a brain hemorrhage, just like my maternal grandmother did when my mom was in her early twenties. One minute she was there and the next minute she was gone. My heart aches for my sweet friend and her family. I can't even imagine the pain she is going through. I know how much Georgia treasured her mother, just as I treasure mine. I won't even allow my mind to contemplate a life without my mother. It's more than I can bear. I wish there was a way I could ease her pain. After recovering from the shock, I did the only thing I knew I could- I dropped to my knees and prayed for the Lord to be with her to comfort her. I am so grateful for the power of prayer that makes it possible for me to somehow express my love and concern from so many miles away.
I had the privilege of meeting this wonderful, faithful woman when I was in Brasil in January. I have included a couple excerpts from my travel journal that illustrate Irma Gilda's service to me.
Well, we set off for several wedding errands and it was intensely hot. I didn't bring water and, as I mentioned, I hadn't eaten anything. We ended up being gone for about 6 hours and by the end, my entire body ached. The jet lag kicked in, as did the lack of food and water. My head ached unceasingly and the ride home was one of the longest of my life. I have been so determined that this trip is about Georgia's wedding and I want to do everything in my power to be helpful and not get in the way; but, when we arrived home, I went straight to bed and her mom brought me water, cooked me dinner, and Georgia gave me medication. Her mom also set up a fan for me and did my laundry. Talk about a humbling experience...way to not draw attention to myself! Moms are the same all over the world and I was so grateful for Georgia´s mother tonight. As much independence as I´ve gained, it´s obvious I still need gracious, loving people to help me through this mortal life!
The purpose of these blog entries the past two weeks is to find reasons to rejoice every day. In spite of such a tragedy, there are reasons to rejoice, thanks to the plan of salvation put in to place by a loving Heavenly Father and made possible by His son, Jesus Christ.
If Gilda had to go, I am grateful it was on the day before Easter. I hope that every year when Georgia remembers the passing of her mother, she remembers the resurrection of the Savior which makes it possible for her mother to live again, but this time glorified and perfected. After I heard about Gilda's passing, I saw a meme that said, "Because of Him, death has no sting." While I've heard this phrase before, it was especially beautiful to me tonight. Christ overcame death so we could live with those we love forever. Georgia and her family are sealed for time and eternity in the temple. They faithfully keep their temple covenants and live worthy of the promise of eternal life together. While the wait will be longer than any of them hoped, they will be together again. My mother will be able to embrace her mother. I will get to meet my grandmother face to face. I've looked forward to that day ever since I was a little girl.
Christ lives. That phrase is in the present tense! Through Him, families can be together forever.
And that is reason to rejoice!