Posted by: reddiva | March 16, 2010

Families and Funerals

Many of you know that I have been in Florida for a family funeral.  My step-daughter, whom I love as my own daughter, was involved in a tragic accident and was killed while on a cruise with her husband and mother-in-law.  I spent last week there giving what support I could to her husband, her children, the grandchildren and other family members.

I am so thankful that Sara’s family knows how much I love Sara and she loved me as well.  We had a special kind of relationship that one doesn’t often find with “steps” – especially ex-steps.

My main priority while I was there last week was to be sure that I did everything I could to take some of the weight off Max.  Many of his family had come down from Minnesota, and of course, Sara’s mother and step-father were there as well.  Sara’s sisters and brother came in on Friday for the Saturday funeral.  I was very thankful to have floors to sweep and sandwiches and coffee to make or at least to guide others to when they wanted to do it themselves.  It gave me something to do to feel useful and was good therapy for my own grief.

As a registered nurse, Sara was obsessed with germs and we shared a few laughs over the disinfectant she always said everyone must use.  We know, of course, that she was right to try to avoid as many germs as possible on surfaces.  What we will never know is how many colds and other viruses she kept us from getting in the process.

During the week, I really got to know two of Max’s sisters.  They are very precious people, and I will cherish the new friendships I was able to make.  His brothers are so funny!  They kept us all in stitches much of the time.  I met his other sister and her husband and more brothers toward the end of the week.  I am so thankful Max has such a supportive family to lean on.  That will be a great benefit for him in the days to come.

I had met Max’s mother during a previous visit.  It was nice to visit with her again.  I felt very sorry for her because she had her own grief to work through as well as to be there to support her son.  She’s a real sweetie, as we say in Texas.

On Sunday, I had a wonderful visit with my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  We had a real family cookout and a good time was had by all.  The evening was over much too soon, but it was a very stressful week we had all experienced, and rest was the priority.  I would be traveling the next day back to my home, and my Florida family had to get back to work and to school on Monday, so rest was important for all of us.

I will be as close as the telephone for them for the rest of my life.  I am blessed that they know that I will always do anything and everything I can for them, and I am confident that they will be there for me as well.  As we all adjust to our individual lives without the single force that brought us all together, it is comforting to know that our shared love and respect will help us as we face our lives without our Sara.  She was wife, mother, grandmother, sister, sister-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, co-worker and many more things to all of us, and she will be missed.

We said goodbye to her on Saturday, but I believe it is only a temporary goodbye.  I believe we will see her again in the fullness of God’s time.

Please allow me to say a personal thank you to my friends and family near to me here although they may not be physically close to me.  I felt the prayer cover they provided, and I am grateful to them.  I also received several very thoughtful cards of sympathy.  I appreciate each one of you.

I had way too many emails to read when I got home.  Many of them are from my Kentucky friends.  Many were messages of sympathy and offers for prayers.  They uplift me and give me a new direction for my thought process which will be a benefit for me.  I will continue to draw on their strength in the days ahead.

Special thanks to Amy, Laurie, Marcia, Tom, and David.  You don’t know how much your words of comfort provided.  God gave all of you loving, caring hearts, and I am thankful to have been the beneficiary of your friendship.

In the words of the most famous Tiny Tim of all, “God bless us, everyone.”



  1. I pray for you each day for God to keep his hand on your shoulder. Be Blessed my dear friend.

    • Thank you very much, Angel! I need your prayers, and I know that God honors them and will strengthen me through them.


  2. There wasn’t a day that you didn’t cross my mind, I am so sorry for the pain in which you endured. Yes in the fullness of God’s time you shall be reunited. Cherish the memories, for they can never be taken from you. God’s many blessings to you and your family.

    • Thank you, Ms. Coyle. I don’t know how people who don’t know the richness of God’s blessings make it through tragedies like this.

      Your prayers are much appreciated!


  3. Glad you’re back, Marie. Give things time to heal. Thanks very much for the report about your stay in Florida.
    Hindaku Yaku: Turn poison into wine (Chinese). Look for reasons to turn misfortune into good fortune.
    As with everything in life, for me, I’m certain things happen for a reason. It’s not up to us to know at any given time, though. I celebrate the relationship Sara and you had together and trust that she is in a better place now.
    Take care of yourself and give yourself time to get back into full swing.
    We’ll be waiting for you.

    • More kind and thoughtful words, David. Thank you.

      I will give myself some time, but I must get back to whatever normal is for me. That’s all part of the healing process. I know that I can count on you and others to see me through this most uncomfortable time. I rely on your sage advice, you know that.


  4. I am so proud of you. God has blessed you with many talents..expressing your thoughts and feelings in writing and a deep love and ability to help those in need.

    “Hangeth thou in there”. The Gospel according to Betty…..

    • Good gospel!

      God blessed me with many things… love of family and friends is one of my greatest blessings. In addition to that.. I got some good genes from my mother!


  5. My sincere sympathy for this loss, Marie.There will be a period of grief and recovery for all involved. In this life we will never know why these things happen but we do know God loves us and will get us through these periods of grief and sadness. We also have faith it is part of God’s plan and this too has happened for a reason. I so enjoy your writing and am glad you’re back. May God continue to bless you and yours.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Mr. Reed. I agree – God never makes mistakes, and He obviously wanted Sara with Him. I wonder sometimes how people without faith in God are able to accept a death such as this and move forward.

      I will be back with my political knives and pillows soon. Thank you for being a regular reader.


  6. Thanks for sharing your story! It’s amazing how God works to bring us closer to Him and others. My prayers are still with you.

    • I can’t tell you how much your prayers and those of my other friends and family have meant, Whitney. God’s grace is truly sufficient!


  7. Warm thoughts and prayers of comfort and restoration are streaming your way from Kentucky.

    • Thank you for the sentiment, Mr. Gresham. I appreciate your taking the time to comment. You know I wish God’s best for you as well.


  8. Thank you Marie, your words are a blessing to me. I am glad you found joy during such a tragic loss. That’s evidence and a wonderful reminder to me that God carries us through the sad times. Remember to never stop talking about Sara with others, it is healing and keeps our loved ones alive with us until we see them again.
    Much Christian Love, Kim

    • Ms. Hamlin, thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. Sara was a joy to my life, and even though the cause of that joy is not visible to me any longer, she will never leave my heart and my mind. Although her presence will be missed, she is still very much among us.


  9. Having been away some myself, I just received your sad news today. I’m so sorry for your loss; I believe one of the most difficult trials in this life is losing a loved one. Our only consolation is that we will be reunited with our loved ones for eternity someday. My prayers are with you as you go through this time of sadness. God bless you and uphold you in your darkest moments.

    • I appreciate your kind words, Ann. Thank you..



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