This is a prayer group I was in in 1997. My husband and I had been married about 2 years and we were attending the church where we both grew up. This is just part of the group that studied and prayed together. I am sitting on the right and on the left is Linda, my friend. I won't identify the others. Linda first asked me to join the prayer group about a year before this picture was taken, but I politely declined not wanting to "share" my personal stuff in a group of women who probably had no problems. After some time passed, I kept feeling drawn (good Presbyterian, I am) to this group and after all, they did meet right before Sunday nite services so thought, oh I might as well just go see what they were all about. I fell totally in love with every woman in the group...what a bunch of prayers! I mean we prayed up dates for the prom, healing for the sick, for our church, for our world, I mean just anything you can think of that needs praying about, we prayed! We also studied several books during this time and I grew spiritually. Believe me, when you ask me for prayer requests, I start by asking how much time I have...even way back then, my son was having problems, lots of problems. There were at least four other ladies in the group, one's prayer request was that she and her husband be able to have a baby. After several months of me asking for prayer for one or the other of my children, she said, "just stop praying for me, I am scared to death to have a child". But I digress.......
Linda and I became very close friends. She prayed diligently for my children. She and her husband big T had four children, the oldest a boy and three girls. During our time in the group, Linda found out she had colon cancer. She had surgery and chemo and was pronounced cancer free. Maybe a year later, she asked for prayer because she was having various pains that didn't seem right to her, but was being put off by her doctors. After a good while of that, she went out of town for a second opinion. Her cancer was back with a vengeance. She had about 6 weeks of radiation and chemo. Three of our sweet ladies in the church would take her and stay with her 2 weeks each. Then she went to the Mayo clinic in Minnesota. I talked to her the day after surgery and in a gentle, quiet voice she said "well, there aren't many organs left in my body". But the doctors there gave her lots of hope and she came home. When she went back for a checkup, it was back and the doctors told her she had 6 weeks to live.
Her husband worked out of town.
Those precious children, B,the oldest ,was well into his college years, K was early in her college experience, E was a senior in high school, and MG a sophomore, pulled together and kept that family running. K came home from college, she was the backbone for everyone. They were all heroes. Big T's aunt and uncle (they raised him) came and Mimi took wonderful care of Linda and the family. During those weeks that followed, B came home as often as possible and the 3 girls took such tender care. Linda loved those children and one of her favorite Bible verses was 3 John 4 "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."
Linda died that February, one month after her 52nd birthday. I don't tell her story very well, but I want to tell the story of how this child of God's children have carried on since her death. That will take a few posts! So tomorrow another chapter.