Monday, October 19, 2009

Time to get the suits cleaned

Normally that means that things are looking good and that a special event is being planned. Unfortunately we have several events coming up that will require the good clothes but I am not looking forward to them. In a way I am supposed to but in another way I am not . . .

After reading the latest on our friends that are fighting cancer my husband turned to me and said, "I think it is time to get the suits cleaned!" What was he talking about. I am too busy trying to pray, organize things, field phone calls, pray, talk to my children, get the laundry done, pray, do school work with the kiddos, pray and come to some logical understanding as to why young mothers would be close to death. "Honey, I think we will be too busy after your friend passes to remember to get the suits cleaned, let's do it now. If things are in order we will be of better service to our friends as they go through all this. " I know he is right but I don't want to think that way. It felt to morbid to plan for the funerals already.

I told him I would take care of them and then went about my day. I stopped by a friend's house to pick up a few of my children and was told a very touching story. My friend Miss Kelly (that is in her final days with breast cancer) has had a hard go of it the past few years. A group from our church have worked hard to provide for the physical needs of Miss Kelly and her two boys. Benefactors have provided a safe apartment close enough to church so that the family could always visit our Lord. Others provided meals or meal cards.

Miss Kelly is now resting at her mother's home. Her mom is on leave from her job and her sister has moved in to help in the hour to hour care that Miss Kelly is now needing. I was silly enough to think that there was nothing more we could do. I was so wrong. A benefactor came by and picked up the boys. This kind woman took them shopping, helped them pick out beautiful suits, including the matching shoes. I never would have thought of that detail but she did. How Christlike that action was! Miss Kelly would have worried about her boys feeling like they were dressed appropriately. No mother wants her boys to feel out of place. This kind woman knew that. She made sure that the boys will feel special on this possibly sad day. This will help the boys see the big picture. I heard this story and was stunned by the kindness that went into that act.

I took it to heart and dropped off the suits at the cleaners the next morning. I was worried about my Linda because she had seamed so weak on Friday night when I left her. Our friends came to visit from OK. They were neighbors and actually introduced my family to Linda's family years ago. The out of town guests stopped by to visit with Linda only to be told she wasn't there. She had gone shopping to help find the perfect outfits for her children. "Are you kidding me? She was on her death bed yesterday, or at least I thought she was!" Not yet, she told me that she wanted to make sure that her son felt comfortable in the suit that he got and that her daughter knew that she loved the dress that was picked. Her mother told me that Linda sat in a wheelchair while her daughter and Linda's sister picked out the perfect dresses. Her instructions are that they are to be joyful dresses. They can be black if that is what you like but we are not allowed to mourn. We will be dressed joyfully.

OK, OK, I got the message. It is better to be prepared so that everyone feels at peace. Saturday I came home to discover that another young friend died that morning. She was in her 40's with 2 young children 13 and 10. Her husband is left to handle all the details. No one knows why she died but she did. This family wasn't prepared. Much harder I think. Please pray for Lisa and her family.

Please try to remember that your time might end before you are ready. Be prepared. Love your family all the time. Tell your children how special they are at every turn. Never stop letting them know that they are loved by you and by God.


  1. What a wonderful reminder. Thank you!!!

  2. Beautiful post, Shannon. Steven said the same thing to me last week about his suit and caught me totally off-guard. Not something we want to think about, yet part of the journey nonetheless.


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