|Mark McCarter who left too soon. Photo by Ron Roundman Gholson|
|"Coming Home No More" painting by John Buxton|
The loss of Anne's beloved first husband, Richard Trotter
Though some time has passed, our dear friend Hester Purefinder has been on my mind of late. She gave us all so much and her story keeps expanding. It is hard to believe she has been gone for over three years and still the stories of her life carry on. In life she gave me a glimpse of what could be done in a non-traditional role, and upon her death she reminded me how short our time on this earth is and how important it is to forgive those who have hurt us. I can not guess what my life would be like had I not attended her memorial service. Her ray of light touched me that day and she granted me the strength to reach out to someone whom I did not intend ever to speak with again. Her death truly made me realize how everything can change in an instant. Thanks Hester, I owe ya one, and every time I tell my story I am trying my utmost to pay you back and to pay it forward.
|Colleen "Hester Purefinder" Gilbert from the Book of Faces - Steven Young Caudill|
More recently, a good man tossed off the mortal coil and reached high to the heavens to be with his beloved. Gathered together, his friends and loved ones were much dismayed. Whispered questions flew. "By his own hand," they said. "God's choice not ours," they stammered. "Why?" they questioned. Yet, who are we to say, "It was too soon." "He had no right," or "How dare he?" How dare WE judge such matters?
Days are like gifts to some and pure torture to others, none of us can know the depths of another's soul. My friends, I am much humbled by this good man's act, and reminded to give thanks and forgiveness generously, for we know not the weight of our words and deeds. Each kind word, smile or gentle kindness given today may be that which is necessary to grant another but one more hour or one more day. Give gifts of kindness easily my friends and I beg you, give the kindest gift of all, readily, easily, and without being asked; Give the gift of forgiveness.
I remind myself of that word, forgiveness, as my thoughts turn to another sweet angel who carried the light from her mother's eyes up into the heavens. The only comfort I seem to be able to take in this loss is in knowing she is now in God's company, surrounded by those who have gone before. Yet, fury hot and loathsome burns still within my soul. For this dear one was snatched away as surely as a dove caught in the clutches of a horrendous and heartless boy. Tortured until she flew free at last away from hands which hurt her.
Fury burdens my soul for all of the helpless and the hopeless. Forgiveness does not figure easily into my heart in this matter and I can not resolve this anger, even knowing full well it only grants another power over me. For there in lies the secret, doesn't it? By allowing another to cause us anger or fear, we give them the very thing they most desire. I try to breathe deeply, and reach into the depths of all I have been given, all I have been taught, and all I believe in, and I ask God to help me and the many others who struggle with this kind of loss. I ask Him to help us to regain our strength, indeed to make us stronger for our loss
I truly believe He has set His angel free, she has gained her wings. Let her be an angel of God by our side, a guardian dear, reminding us she has been set free of all our mortal strife. She has much work ahead of her to light and guard, to rule and guide her little one, and all of us who need a guardian angel.
|Abigail Parmer - Angel of God and Guardian Dear|