I’d only been a family coach for a few months when you walked into my life. Your health was fragile and your situation trying, but your faith was strong and your determination resolute.
You let me into your life. I got to know you and your beautiful daughter. We talked about difficult topics and charted a path to make your dreams a reality for your family.
Along the way, we connected, and you inspired me. You lived in an apartment complex surrounded by crime and lacking air conditioning. You struggled with diabetes since you were 11. You couldn’t work. You didn’t have much. You had every reason to be bitter. You had every reason to be down.
But you weren’t.
You had so much hope, so much love for the Lord. That relationship with God permeated everything you did and said. You were generous though you had little to give. I still think about how you loved to cook and bake. And sing. You could really sing.
I remember the day you moved into your new apartment. Surrounded by volunteers who helped moved you from one place to the next, the moment of change was overwhelming. Still, you persevered, knowing something better was waiting for you on the other side.
You and your daughter thrived in your new home. To see you in a safer environment brought peace to my heart.
That safety wasn’t meant to last long. At least not as long as I’d want. Your sister told us of your passing. I cried. When I tell other people about you, tears still well up in my eyes.
I still have all of our text messages on my phone, each signed with your nickname. I look at them occasionally. Your strength and faith in your last months still inspires me, still challenges me to focus on what’s most important in life.
Then there’s the last text I sent: I’d love to come see you soon.
It won’t be soon enough. But if you’ve taught me anything, it’s that we will meet again in Heaven. The Lord has plans for both of us. I’m grateful a part of that plan included the intersections of our lives.
I’ll see you soon.
Written by Cynthia Huffstetler, family coach at the Buckner Family Hope Center in Longview. She recently finished her first of what she hopes will be many years serving children and families through the Family Hope Center.
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