This is one of my favorite pictures of Holly. It was taken a few months before she was diagnosed with stage 4 Adenocarcinoma Lung Cancer. A little over 3 years later she left this world.
Her littles are still little but seem a lot more “grown up” inside now. Her oldest will be 14 this fall. Her youngest is 4 years old now. He was still nursing when Holly was diagnosed.
Death and sickness can bring the worst and the best out in people. Though I know there were days of sadness deep in Holly before she passed… there was a strong peace that lead her throughout her last few years here. And her faith was contagious.
Heaven is where most of us want to be. Free of sin, sadness, sickness, doing what we were created to do - worship and fellowship with God. At times I can see Holly, like in the garden of Eden.. walking around with her biggest smile laughing with Jesus as he puts his strong arm around her shoulders and she looks down.. about to burst with joy. I know she is the happiest she has ever been.
Heaven and death were not scary for Holly. When she was young she made God boss of her life. She loves Him. We walked that path toward heaven together from childhood encouraging each other throughout life. Holly’s love language was quality time so getting eternity with her Heavenly father was a blessing in her eyes.
Holly always had a stubbornness about her. I think we both come from a long line of women that do. It is a good thing though for all of us and has gotten us through life’s trials. She was strong in her desire to do what made God happy. I think it was her God given stubbornness that kept her fighting so long for those extra moments with her kids or maybe just God's grace.
Over a year before Holly was diagnosed she said God showed her that she wouldn’t have much time. She would be like Moses’ mother and only have a few years with her littles to instill in them God’s truth and then she would have to leave them. At the time it didn’t make since. She stored it in her heart and continued to pour love and Truth in her children.
Holly was doing so well. It wasn’t until November of last year when she had an MRI that showed 60+ tumors on her brain that things begin to take more major changes. We prayed that her brain would stay clear and miraculously it did till the end. Such a blessing for the children to have her with a clear mind to show and speak love to them even till her very last day.
In the last two years I have shed a mountain of tears, I have felt like I wrested with the Holy Spirit. But my tears are only a cupful compared to what my mother, Bryant and the girls have shed.
I wrestled with God’s healing. I have prayed many prayers over the years and known God was going to answer them the way I wanted, I felt a peace. I have seen God heal people from impossible circumstances and sicknesses over and over again.
Yet every time I prayed for Holly… I didn’t have that peace. I asked God for more faith thinking He wasn’t giving me the faith I needed to answer this one the way I wanted. Then I thought maybe it was too close to home…maybe there was fear in my heart. But the truth was I did feel a peace… the same peace Holly felt…
In January Holly looked very close to the door of death. In the hospital I asked her how she did it - went through all she was going through and didn’t fear or worry for her children. She said that she “Trusted God”. If He wanted her home with Him then He would provide all that her children needed. He would care for them. That peace got her through every day.
In the summer Holly was doing seemingly well and had lived a lot longer than the Doctors had expected. None of us were thinking that it was the day or even month that she would pass away. We all were hoping for more time.
She went to the hospital because she couldn’t breath well. It seemed very normal to us…. Holly had been to the hospital so many times over the past year and each time we were trying to keep a calm heart. She hated people making a fuss over her. When Bryant called…. My heart dropped. After Jonathan came for the kids, I went to the hospital. Even then it was confusing… was there a possibility she could come out of this? We waited as the Doctors worked. Then came the news that none of us really had expected. I was so overwhelmed.
I didn’t know what to do. A part of me wanted to lay on her body and pray like Elisha did and the other part knew….. she was heading to the happiest she was ever going to be… she was doing what she was created to do….she was free….. And like everything else in life… she beat me to it.
I touched her foot… a foot I had rubbed countless times over the years. I wanted her to wake up and then I knew we had to let her go. God had said her days were numbered and this was the last one. It was so hard but peace cover us... God is truly close to the broken hearted.
These past months I have seen lifetime dreams and prayers of Holly’s come true. I wonder if God gives her glimpses of them. I miss her terribly. I so wish I could talk to my big sister now… that I could get phone call from heaven with the daily report of what is going on and what its really is like and any advise for this temporary life i could gather.
Each of us miss her terribly. I am so proud of Bryant…. God has given him exactly what he needs during this season. Bryant and her started dating in highschool and they were married the fall after she graduated. They too grew up together.
Each of us have this peace even though we miss her… we are doing as she modeling so strongly to us… trusting God.
A sister is a life-time companion though many miles have separated us over the years… we have loved each other. Now the chasm is too great to see with human eyes. But somehow I feel close…. And the truth is …in a blink of an eye… my life too will pass…. And I will see her again. And she will greet me in heavens doors. This life is truly short.
So many meaningless things we fill our time and thoughts with. Silly things we worry or fuss about… so many wasted moments. I want the rest of my moments on this little earth to truly bring glory to HIM to truly show this love I have tasted.
Holly seemed to always have a thankful heart. All who knew her close knew she genuinely and sacrificially loved her husband and children.
I asked her once after her diagnoses if she could do anything, go anywhere what would she want to do. She said she was already doing what she wanted to do… homeschool her children and make dinner for her husband.
There was no unfinished task or no wanting for something else… she was doing what she was called to do…and she did it fully even to the very day before she died.
Holly will always be someone I look up to. A heroine in my eyes.
I pray one day I can be as content, thankful, and confident in my Maker as she was.