Friday, November 6, 2009

Rest in Peace my dear friends.


The week began with a memorial for our neighborhood friend Lisa. Then on Monday night we went to a Rosary for Natalia. Tuesday was her funeral. She was a remarkable young woman. It was an honor to know her. In her mother's own words Natalia taught us generosity and calls us to each live a generous life in her honor.

Kelly's rosary was Wednesday and then her Funeral Mass was on Thursday. This woman was truly remarkable. In her short 18 months as a Catholic she managed to bring the parish together. There were individuals from a variety of the church's ministries present at her funeral Mass.

Kelly's impact on so many of us was so profound. We learned how to be strong from her. Kelly fought long and hard to be with her boys for as long as possible. She never wanted to think too far into the future. Knowing that she might not be a part of it. She worked hard to give her boys a solid faith so that they could take comfort in her passing.

The Mass was beautiful with her oldest son reading the first reading. His voice was clear and strong. Both boys brought up the gifts and then their family friend told us a little bit about her. He reminded us that often times it is the ordinary person striving to live an ordinary life that teaches us the most about our Father in Heaven.

As we were walking out of Kelly's Mass I was overcome with a beautiful sense of how much God loved me. I so love our rich faith and its beautiful traditions. Kelly would have enjoyed seeing all those people gathered in her honor. I so looked forward to spending the morning and early afternoon with these friends and then the rest of the day with Linda. I knew her time was growing very short and I just needed to get through the funerals so I could spend time with her. My faith was strong now and I looked forward to being at her bedside when she met the Father face to face. That was not to be.

The children went to the car to retrieve some pans to discover that all of our phones were blinking with messages all from dad who was out of town on business. He asked me last week if he should try to get out of traveling for the week. I told him that we would be OK. Natalia's service would be hard but I was blessed to have the children around me. Then Kelly passed away on Saturday it was too late for him to change plans. It was OK I could still make it, I had the children. We work well together as a family. I would take care of them as they took care of me.

Dad finally got a hold of me. "Shannon, Shannon Honey, Larry called. He is trying to get a hold of you but can't find your number. Linda passed away an hour ago." I so wish Jason had been there in person. After collapsing into a bench with the help and support of a dear friend I pulled myself up to start telling the children. There was no way to gather them up to tell them at one time. They were scattered everywhere, running off with a friend and helping the Martha Ministries Bereavement group at church set up the luncheon for Kelly's family. As each one came to me I was afraid that I would not be able to console them. I needed to find and tell the next child. God is so good to me. Many of my home school moms were standing with me when I got the call. Many knew Linda. They have all shared this journey with me. I would tell a child, hug that child and then pass them off into the arms of another woman. So beautiful!

We cried for about five minutes. I felt so bad and hoped that we were not causing a scene that would interfere with Kelly's friends and family. I could not have been in a better spot. I crowded the little ones back into the doors of our church and the big ones followed. We walked up to the alter and fell to our knees in prayer. We were all still sobbing. Death hurts those left behind. The pain is piercing. We tried to gather our composure. I thought it was just us but as we began the Divine Mercy Chaplet I realized some friends had followed us inside. When we broke down and could not say the words they did it for us. "For the Sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have Mercy on us and on the whole world!"

Linda trusted that Mercy, she knew it was hers for the asking. She asked for it. I am confident that I felt close to her during Mass because she was meeting me in the Eucharist.

Jason called back to tell me that Linda's family wanted me to be able to come to the house to say goodbye before she was removed. Off we went. We sobbed on the way there, we talked to Jason briefly and then decided that the best way we could help was to pull our selves together and be willing to serve our friends in any way they might need. We prayed for the strength to do just that. The prayer was answered and the Texas T Family went into Linda's home offering our condolences, love and support. We viewed the shell that we once knew as Mrs. T and kissed her goodbye. Larry reminded the children as they stood at Linda's deathbed that she loved each and every one of them with her entire hearts. He told us that she had always admired Pooker, and considered Sugar to be her "other daughter, ya know the one she didn't give birth to."

We will miss you Linda T. You were my friend no matter what. You were my friend when I was mad, and when I was sad, and when I was angry. I am sorry that I wasn't always as kind to you as you were to me. You will always be my friend. I am so happy for you. I know that you are in Paradise now and there is nothing wrong with that. I look forward to seeing your collaboration with the Father on all those projects you planned to take care of when you finally got to heaven.

My dear friend I will miss our pool side chats, our late night debates on religious topics, planning event together, pizza runs, Christmas light observations, fire pit discussions, margaritas, Disney Movie premiers, cakes, parties, drive in, trick-or-treating, popcorn, Cuda time, sharing friends, children, hand-me-down children's clothes. I have always loved your ability to help others and see their needs. You never hesitated to work to make someone else's life a little better even if it was with just a cake. Thank you.

Most of all I will miss you surprising me at the front door just to say "hi" then spending an hour or more trying to leave, sitting in the van and us saying just one more thing.

Rest In Peace Linda! You are loved and will be greatly missed!


  1. As I type this message, tears are streaming down my face.

    I know that Natalia, Kelly, and Linda are looking down on you from above, wrapping their arms around you in love.

    I am saddened for you to have lost 4 friends in such a short amount of time...friendships are important for women to maintain outside of the homefront.

    I hope that there are others that you can turn to in your time of need.


  2. Val, You are too kind. I am very blessed with such wonderful friends. I wont lie. It was a very hard week. I cried so much over the past two days alone but I feel so close to God as well. In a weird way it has been wonderful. Linda brought me to Christ so much, I can't even explain. I hope to put some of her stories in writing soon. Keep praying for me though, I will be good, but I still hurt. Thank you for being a friend in Christ.


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