There is one thing we all know for sure. Once we are born it is one sure thing that we will die. Our time on this earth is a gift, given by God, and what we do with it is of our own choosing. This past week two important people in my life passed from this life to eternity with God. They are at peace and it is those of us who are left here who mourn their passing and celebrate their lives.
Carmen Riley—one of my “second” moms as I grew up in Dana Farms neighborhood—she lived a long life filled with her bustling energy. She was a tiny woman with a strong will. She played a solid game of tennis, she loved to cook, entertain, camp, travel, drink her wine, and was known to “dance on many a table”. Our family gatherings with the neighbors always included Carmen and her quick wit, her crazy laugh, her stubborn arguments, and her joie de vivre.
Ronald Loy—my father in law, dad to Rob, Greg and Charlie, grandfather to my children, great grandpa, and much loved uncle to many nieces and nephews in this close knit Loy family. Ron was a gentle man who didn’t need much in life, and savored the simple things--fishing, playing cards, reading, traveling, hanging out with friends. He loved inventions, crafts, and wood work and was always finding something to create. He played poker with the boys, all the way up until his death, and always riled me up with his sneaky card playing tricks. He was soft spoken with a fierce wit, and he had a loud, boisterous laugh and always a twinkle in his eye. It will be hard to face the holidays without “Grandpa Ron” around, but we will carry the memories and the time we had with him in our hearts.
Death is inevitable and yet so many live in fear of it. I saw in the paper this week that a seminar called “Death Café” took place in our community. A group of people gathered to confront their fears and anxieties related to death. And there is so much to take care of—for those who remain, death is a business—forms to complete, people to contact, bills to pay, arrangements to make. In a sea of fog, we the living, must go on. Our grieving process will take time and life will move forward, even if our loved one is gone.
We all know that death is for sure; it is just that we don’t want to think about it. And rightly so--we shouldn't spend our days thinking about death, but about living a full life. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I had to think about it—long and hard. I had to stare mortality in the face and confront it head on. It wasn’t easy. But I clung to the promises that I know about God. And I know one thing for sure and that is when I die, I know where I am going. My salvation is secure. I don’t question it. And it isn’t because of one good thing I have done. It has nothing to do with me at all. And it has everything to do with Jesus. He is the one sure thing. He is my hope, my blessed assurance, my cornerstone, my eternal Savior.
Ron and Carmen lived exceptional lives. They passed on legacies to their children and their grandchildren. They will always be remembered and cherished. And I know one thing for sure. They are both laughing in heaven with Jesus. Because they KNEW Him. They aren’t partaking in all the goodness of heaven because of one single good deed, but because of the ONE who paid the price for each of them and for you and for me.
We all face death every day. There is nothing to fear if your hope is in Jesus. Eternal life awaits because of the One Sure Thing.