I learned of the death of a cousin, Judy Bernat-Burton, on Sunday. I was going to call her. She celebrated a birthday last Thursday, making her the same age as myself. The next day she entered eternal life. Despite much illness and difficult times, Judy was always a woman of hope and concern for others. Her five children, numerous grandchildren, nieces and nephews and we cousins attest to her being a loving person. She also spent the last years of her life researching her family history, going back to the first relatives who immigrated from Ireland in the 1800's. She left us a legacy of loving care and of detailed information on our extended family. May she be enjoying the presence of the Lord for all eternity.
I spoke with her by phone a couple of weeks ago. She was so animated in the conversation that I forgot that she was in a hospice program. She lived life to the fullest without giving in to self pity or bitterness. She prayed for all her family--another good example for the rest of us.
Today a niece of mine celebrates her birthday. She is in her early twenties and is in her last year of college. We trust in a beautiful future for her.
And, on Saturday a nephew of mine, Ben, will wed his fiance' Abby, in Kansas City. Ben and Abby give us hope that young people are ready to give their love to each other and to work hard to make that love permanent. All the best to these beautiful young people whose example shows that God is helping young men and women to have the courage to make a true commitment. May his grace accompany them through the ups and downs of life. As the letter to the Hebrews states hope is the anchor that reaches beyond what we can do into the strength of the Lord who loves us more than we can ask or imagine.