Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Heavy Hearts in Kentucky

...and one in Virginia Beach and one in North Carolina and a couple in Northern Virginia.

I am reminded regularly that God is in control of all things. I don't know why I sometimes think I'm following my own plan, I'm simply on the route He's laid out for me, as are we all. And I also believe He puts where we're supposed to be when we're supposed to be there.

My husband left for Kentucky this past Sunday for a much anticipated week long visit with his family. Nothing strange about this. What is a little "off" is that Mike would normally never travel to Kentucky in January. It's a rather dreary month and the weather from West Virginia into Eastern Kentucky is dicey at best and makes for risky roads at times. But before Christmas we talked about it and decided that this was as good a time to go as any. There were many birthdays in December and January that Mike's always missed so we thought it was a good time to be together and celebrate.

This morning it was made evident to me that the purpose of Mike's trip was not for celebration but for reflection and support. You see, today Ermal Petit's life on earth ended and she has begun her eternal life with her Savior.

Ermal is my father-in-law's mother-in-law. I guess she was my husband's "step-grandmother"? I've ALWAYS hated that term "step"... Regardless, I wanted to share a little about this firecracker of a lady that I had the pleasure of knowing, if only for a brief time.

I don't' think Ermal was even 5 feet tall. And when Mike and I were in town, it was as if we were the forest and she was a mere waif among us! Ha! I don't think anyone was ever fooled by her size, however. She could keep that group in line with ease. She had the respect of all of us. In my opinion, Ermal was the epitome of a strong, "farm" woman. She was always up early and ready for the day. She was very active up until about a year ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Ultimately, that dreaded disease would be her demise. Ermal could cook, I mean really cook. And she ironed a lot, too! She was there for her family in so many ways. And I'm so glad that Alyssa, Ermal's great-granddaughter, had all these years with her. Alyssa will have sweet memories and isn't that wonderful for a young girl? And I'm so grateful that I got to spend time with Ermal just this past summer. She was still in pretty good health and getting around fairly easily. I'm glad I have that nice memory in my mind and heart.

Losing a loved one is never easy, I know. But our hearts hurt a little less, I think, when we know that loved one was a child of God and was not afraid and was ready to see their maker's face. It almost brings a comforting warm over us, huh?

So you see, Michael's exactly where he's supposed to be today, this week. He's there during this difficult time to offer love and support to his family. God put him where he was supposed to be. It's really that simple and I'm really not surprised...

1 comment:

Pearl said...

Such a sweet and loving tribute, Joyce... She sounded like an amazing woman, indeed... I'm so glad that so many folks were blessed with knowing and loving her... My prayers to everyone... and also prayers for your husband to be safe in his travels... Take special care, and keep warm... God bless...

~hugs 'n prayers~