I really don’t know where to begin. She is a part of me. Rebecca and Ramona is who we have been for 57 years. I spent the first 17 years of my life with her by my side, sharing everything, friends, toys, bedrooms, clothes, music and so much more. She is 14 months older than me, but, as Rebecca liked to remind me, most people thought I was the older sister and she was content to let them think so. She was one of my biggest fans, she often let me know how proud she was of my being a nurse and she loved that I was a leader in my profession. How I wish I showed her more how much I loved her, but I do think she knew.
We went on our first double date together when we were much too young to even be dating!! I think I was in 6th grade.(Don’t tell mom) There are so many memories that I have and so much I don’t remember over the years. She was always so much fun to be around and we hardly ever fought, mostly because Rebecca would just let me have my way, I’m sure. She liked when I lead and she was a great support, encourager and playmate. I will never forget the crazy times at the cabin, how much you loved the sun and the beach and all of the laughter and tears we shared. The tape placed down the middle of our room and me piling all your clothes on your bed! Going to school I walked fast, you walked slow and I would stop every block or so to wait for you to catch up. When we had to change schools (7 times!) we always had a friend so it made those transitions easier.
We got married within 8 months of each other, we had our first child within 3 months of each other. We learned to be wives and mothers together. She mothered my children and I mothered hers (I plan on continuing that!). If I told you some stories of the adventures we took our kids on…. well. let’s just say, these are different times! We were so different in many ways, but our bond runs deep and strong.
We continued to do everything together into our 30’s, and then life’s circumstances caused some separation. One of the wonderful thing about our family is that even though we have suffered many hurts and disappointments and challenges, we have managed to overcome them because of the love of Christ and our love for each other. There were times when I was critical of her but, I realize now, she did life the best way that she could. All of us have our wounds and shortcomings but Rebecca was never the one to point those out, she chose to encourage and she loved others so well. She constantly gave of herself and her time without reservation. She never wanted to see others hurting or feeling bad about anything. She was a constant encourager. I am going to miss her more than I can say.
Over these last three months as she was battling cancer, she taught all of us so much. She was constantly cheerful and encouraging, even when she felt so sick and was in pain. She thanked all of us and apologized for being a bother again and again. It was hard for her to receive our help, she would try to help others even when she was too sick or weak to do so. She loved Jesus deeply and expressed often that she felt at peace and that she was being held in her Father’s Arms. I know that my life has been changed because of her example, the grace that she carried for others and how much she longed for peace and reconciliation within her family.
So my encouragement to you is to love more deeply, judge others less harshly and be willing to embrace each moment that is in front of you, you never know which day will be your last here on this earth.
Rebecca, I am thankful we got one last adventure down at the river, under the Rainbow Bridge. I wish I could have just whisked you away from all of the pain and suffering that you went through, but God had a different plan. HIs ways are unsearchable and His goodness is beyond measure. May each one of you know Him as she did, my hope is that your life has been changed as you touched a bit of heaven in knowing Rebecca.