Many of you know that the Cook's don't generally live a calm, slow and uneventful life. We tend to lean towards the spastic side of life. The past few weeks have been no different.
My wonderful, preacher hubby earns his money with the "after hours" that he puts in. But, I think the past week and a half he has done the work of MANY men. (But, I am partial!) Our church family has had a rough time lately. We have lost three members. It began with Ms. Opal Bradford. She was a sweet lady that has an even sweeter daughter, Winnie, that my girls absolutely LOVE. (She's another grandma to them!) Well, Ms. Opal passed away and David spent several days with the family comforting them and being a pallbearer at the funeral. It's so great to hear of all the wonderful things that were said about her. She meant so much to so many.
Three days later, we lost Carl Bonds. He was another important member to our church. A leader, once upon a time. Mr. Bonds has been ill for many years and finally went home to be with God. David once again spent several days with the family and performed the funeral. Carl will be missed by his dear wife, Elwanda.
Two days later, we had the one year anniversary to the tornado that ripped our town to shreds. Our community got together and had a special service to remember those that lost their lives and to celebrate those that came to help clean up and put us back together. It's still hard to think about the 'might have beens' with that storm. We got to praise God for sparing the lives of our dear friends the Blanton's. They were in their house when it was ripped apart. They were scattered all over their yard, amazingly there were only minor injuries and are all back to 'normal!' (As normal as a preachers family with 4 kids can be! Hi, Amy!) It was an emotional service for many.
The very next night.....complete tragedy struck our church family when a dear friend was killed in a car accident on her way home from work. Jean Henson left behind a 14 year old son, Dakota. Who I ask you to pray for. David spent 4 days with Jean's extended family helping to comfort them and make arrangements for the funeral. It was one of the most impressive funerals I have ever been to as there was standing room only and every possible seat in our church was full! The outpouring of love to Dakota was so incredible that David had a hard time getting through the eulogy without tears. (Which of course is contagious!) Jean touched the lives of so many that, I am sure, she never knew about. She was a soft spoken, but to the point woman. She loved my kids and treated them extra special. She was Eden Bible school teacher and would often tell me (sometimes terrible!!!) stories that she "told on us" in class. Many times I would be in tears from laughing at something Eden said. Jean never had lots of money, didn't wear the finest clothes or drive the fancy cars. But what she did have....genuine love for you. She never accepted a side arm hug...only two arms would do! And she made a point to tell you if she thought about you that week. She will be missed.
As you can see we have had enough sadness to last a long while around here. But it didn't come without a lesson. After being to three funerals and a service to remember those who have (or almost) lost their lives in a tornado, I have realized that I need to tell people that I love them more. I need to tell people when I pray for them...send more cards....hug more and hug longer. I am challenging you as well as myself to commit to this with me! What better time to re-commit to love one another than Valentines!!?!!!
So to all of you out there.....I love you! I appreciate you and what you have brought to my life.