This is a picture my sister, Patty and me. Patty fought a brave battle against breast cancer for at least 2 years, but in the end, the Lord took her home to be with Him. Yesterday was the 5th anniversary of her death. The picture was taken almost 6 years ago at our parents' 50th Anniversary party, which turned out to be a little over 11 months before Patty passed away. Patty was a wonderful Christian wife and mother of 11 children...yes, you read that right, 11 children. At the time of her death they ranged from almost 4 years old to 21 years of age.
Their oldest child, Tonia is now 26, Shanna will be 22 this Thursday, and the rest are as follows: Thomas is 19, Isaac 18, April 17, Sarah 15, Zach 14, Christina 13, (yes, there are 6 teenagers!), Zion 12, John Jacob, (JJ) is 10, and Isaiah will be 9 in May.
Yesterday, our pastor was preaching about how we all need to let ourselves be emotional at certain times in our lives. It brought me back to exactly 5 years ago, (which coincidentally was also a Sunday), when I went to church just hours after the call from my mother that my sister was gone, and bawled throughout the entire service. I was certainly being emotional then. I also remember that my cousin, Channing and his wife Dawn were there for the service, and Pastor Tom told me that morning that my cousin had accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior that very week. I told Channing the sad news about Patty, and added that I was sure she was jumping for joy over his salvation, up in heaven. Patty was all about spreading the Gospel and trying to get everyone she knew saved. I miss you Sis, and if you have any "pull" up there, could you possibly arrange for me to have the mansion next to yours when I get there?