For little over a week, our family has been dealing with having to say goodbye to a very dear member of the family - Jo Anne. It is a time of great sadness as we see and hear of friends and family filing in to spend time with her during her final days. We have made the trip two times over the past week. As we made each of those drives, I regretted the fact that life tends to keep us so busy that we did not go to see her more frequently.
As we visit with her, I am astonished at how gracious she is to each and every one of her visitors. You can tell she is tired but she still makes the effort to talk and comfort her guest. While we were with her, she reminisced about the time we stayed with her during Hurricane Frances in 2004. What wonderful memories we share of that stressful time. Meghan played Jesu, Mans Desiring for her. She seemed to enjoy her impromptu concert; however, she has inspired Meghan and her playing of the violin in a way that no one else has in a very long time. We hope that Meghan has given her a gift through her music, but Meghan's Great Aunt Jo gave Meghan a wonderful gift by allowing her to play for her and seeing the joy that she is capable of giving with her music.
In spite of the stress her situation creates not just for her but everyone else as they deal with her illness and her imminent passing, it strikes you as to what an incredible gift she has been given to have these final moments with her family and friends. The gifts that she has given over these past few weeks will live on well past her and bring comfort and joy to people for years to come. Isn't that really what we all hope for in the long run - to leave some part of ourselves with those we will leave behind so that we will be remembered; and thereby continue to live one in the hearts of others even after we are gone...
Please click on Dianne's album and see pictures of this courageous woman. She is truly incredible and such a beautiful example of grace.