Church Family and Friends,
I find myself once again owing a debt of gratitude for you walking with me through yet another family crisis. Your kindness and understanding offered me through these days of my mother’s passing was unsurpassed and very appreciated by me and my brother.
As some of you know, Mom had been ill for over three years with breast cancer and, added to nearly 91 years her body simply could go no further. Hospice was excellent once again as they were with Pam and my brother and I were able to pray over her in her last moments.
Her homegoing, while not unexpected, came sooner than we thought Many things needed to be seen to in my hometown to finalize her estate and prepare her house for sale. These past days in Ashland allowed me to assist my brother in this, and being present also allowed me the privilege of officiating her funeral.
In the midst of the sorrow of her passing we had moments of celebration; I turned sixty -**, my brother received the prestigious Sports Day award and was the honoree of a banquet attended by coaches, sports heroes, and politicians including Mayor Steve Gilmore and Congresswoman Robin Webb. To add to the evening, I was awarded the Key to the City of Ashland!
So to say it was an eventful two weeks would be an understatement. We found once again that God is faithful to bring joy in the midst of the worst kinds of sorrow.
Proving again that we have a good, good Father!
It’s been a good day. I know those words seem strange, coming as they do at the end of the day of my mother’s funeral. For the most part, they are not words we attach to such a day.
But this has been a good day. My mother, Peggy Maynard, went home this past Wednesday noon to the arms of Jesus, to the welcomed embrace of my father who has been gone from us for sixteen years, and to the host of others she stood with as they left this life and entered eternity.
It’s a good day. Her children, and grandchildren, and gathered friends and assorted relatives met with her one last time on a hillside between Ashland and Catlettsburg, Kentucky, just a few miles from the home where she grew up. We said our farewells, not in despair or hopelessness but with hope in the resurrection of the dead. We will see her again.
It’s been a good day. The battle with cancer that has consumed her body for over three years ended…and she won. She entered life eternal without this scourge clinging to her. With her embattled earthly tent, she left it behind.
It’s a good day. One more time, those whose lives have been touched by eternal Grace stood mocking death at a gravesite, grieving but not as those without hope… refusing to succumb to despair. My mother’s life had been marked by that grace.
It’s been a good day. The grave that we filled with earth and tears today will one day reopen to the promise of eternal glory, as “the dead in Christ will rise first.” Death doesn’t win, though for a time it may seem to be the case.
It’s a good day. The Gospel was celebrated; our faith once more proven in the fire, and we emerge stronger people for what has been endured and what we witnessed.
It’s been a good day. We looked “not at things which are seen, but at things which are unseen, for the things which we see are temporary, but the things we cannot see are eternal.”
It’s a good day. We will see her again; of this we are certain. Until then we wait, we remember, we rejoice in the person she was and gifts of herself she left us. We will see her again, face-to-face, as we will see Jesus and when we do…
It will be a VERY good day.