Tuesday, October 20, 2009

She made a difference.

Tonight, I went to a visitation at a funeral home for someone I've known basically my entire life. My mom has known her since elementary school, and her niece and I were best friends growing up. About two years ago, she was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, and after going through treatment and finally into remission, doctors found a brain tumor. She passed away Sunday morning, surrounded by her family, and I'm convinced she's now on Jesus's official welcoming committee. I always thought she was one of those people that everybody loved...but I apparently had no idea.

The visitation tonight was from 6-8pm. You've all been to one...you go more out of obligation than anything, to sign the book and hug the family then leave as quickly as possible. Usually it's a quick in-and-out thing. My mom and grandmother and I went around 7 and planned to stay no more than 15 or 20 minutes; I had even made dinner plans for afterwards. When we got to the funeral home, there was a line of people wrapped halfway around the outside of the building waiting to go inside. We stood in line for almost 45 minutes before we even got close to the front of the line. It was incredible. We even joked about it..."Too bad Linda Sue didn't have any friends".

Imagine having such an impact on people that it takes almost an hour to get into your wake. Imagine touching so many lives that for over two solid hours, hundreds of people take time out of their routines to express to your family how much you mean to them. I can think of several people right now who have made that kind of impact in my life: my awesome friend Amy who is finishing up cancer treatments and isn't afraid to rock her fabulous hairdo in public :-); Tracey, who is the kind of mom I want to be someday and lets me join in the wonderful chaos of her life whenever I need a fix; Amanda ,who commiserates with me via text messages almost daily and helps make my work a little more bearable, and who is always quick to offer a movie and pitcher of sangria when I really need it; Amanda, whose story is so incredible and inspiring and who is one of the strongest and bravest women I've ever known; and sweet Lindsay, who is one of the most encouraging people I know even though her husband is in the army and was just sent to Germany for two years. All of these women have shown Jesus to me, just like Linda Sue showed Jesus to every single person she met. I am encouraged by her, and I hope you are too, to be that to someone else. And besides that, let someone you love know it, before you have to wait an hour to get into their wake. I know I definitely need to do more of that.

And when you get to heaven, look for Linda Sue. She'll be the one with the great big smile and the ready hug, welcoming you right on in.


  1. Hey, Mandi...I love you too! I hope you're feeling better! Amy :)

  2. I'm going to have to ask you to post a huge kleenex warning the next time you write something like this. Love you, girl!