Carol Stewart-In the Arms of Jesus

The Stewart family has been one of our sweet family friends since our time at Canby Christian.  Actually, Ahna started out as my dental hygienist and slowly brought her whole family to CCC...That was nearly 7 years ago.  Her sweet mother in law, Carol and her would be there every Sunday.  And, fairly recently, Curtis and I got the privilege of being asked to be Mike and Ahna's kid's (Trent and Josie) caretakers if something were to happen to both of them.  I've been in multiple bible studies with Carol and Ahna and have grown to love them both, as well as their families.

Carol had struggled in the past with lung cancer before going into remission.  Within the last year or so the cancer had come back and spread to the point of her liver.  There wasn't much they could do.  I sensed a peace in Carol as she struggled.  Because we have been in the process of moving, it was more of an effort I had to make to see them.  I brought over a meal this past Nov and thoroughly enjoyed time with the family while Carol, although not eating much at that point, sat at the table and visited with us.

Then I got a phone call.  We had spent a long day in Sublimity before coming back home to Molalla where we were living during our remodel.  It was dark, cold and potentially icy on the roads.  Ahna had called and said that Carol had been put on hospice a few days prior and that she was deteriorating quickly.  She recommended coming sooner than later if I wanted to see her.  Honestly, I didn't want to go.  I was exhausted and thought it unsafe.  But, I knew I needed to.

After getting home and before heading out the door again, Calvin was frantically coloring a picture for me to take to Carol.  I admit I was getting a little impatient as I tried to leave with how long it was taking him.  He told me he was drawing her a birthday party.  I tried to explain that it wasn't her birthday but that I'm sure she would like all of his colors and his writing of her name.  He finally finished, rushed it into my hands, and off I went.

I was within a few feet of the driveway to Carol's house when I got another phone call from Ahna.  She had called to tell me that Carol had just passed away.  I pulled in, parked and was met with a hug from Ahna as I approached the house.  It was then that I pulled out Calvin's picture to hand to her.

The Lord works in mysterious ways and this was a reminder of that for me.  Calvin's birthday party picture wasn't far off.  At that moment it seemed all too appropriate as Carol had just experienced her brand new and glorious body in Heaven with Jesus...complete with a party, I'm sure.  I cried...Ahna cried...we were overwhelmed at the encouragement of this simple little picture during a moment of great loss here on earth.

I told Calvin later about Carol going into heaven and that his picture was perfect.  Ahna later informed me that there were a few things that would be buried with Carol's ashes and Calvin's picture was one of them.

Through the eyes of a child...May we never stop seeing this world through the eyes of a child.


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