On Saturday, March 8, I received a call from my brother-in-law, Bob Foot, in Australia. Just more than three weeks after returning home from Australia, my sister, Jean, finally succumbed to cancer. Her untimely passing was sadly inevitable, but according to Bob, the end came peaceably with him at her side.
The following note was my last communication with jean, an email that "... sure did pick Jean up," according to Bob. "I had to read it to her twice," he later told me. For those of you who have followed this story and prayed for her, here's what I wrote ...
I heard you're not feeling too well and thought I would write to cheer you up! I had a wonderful time with you and Bob recently and I will never forget my time with you all in Holloway's Beach! I truly I felt like the two days we spent together made up for the circumstances of our childhood which kept us apart and, more recently, the distance between US and Australian shores that has done the same. Indeed, I think you would agree; it sure felt good and right when I was with you all; it felt like family, and that we are! I will forever treasure the memories.
Since as a pastor, I see many marriages up close and personal - some good and some not so good - I thought you should know how blessed you are to have had such a wonderful husband like Bob; and I thank God for his unconditional love and support of you in sickness and in health. In fact, I told some here in the states that Bob treats you more like Christ than I think many so-called Christian husbands might treat their wives in similar circumstances! So I want you to know that I admire him greatly and thank God you have had such a good and caring man to love you the past twenty years. I know, Bob will always carry you close to his heart; and I look forward to he and I remaining good mates through the years!
Mostly, however, I am writing tonight to let you know that I love you and thank God he gave me a sister like you. And I pray that in these days of your suffering, you will be comforted by the Spirit of God, whom I pray to be with you even now. For God loves us so much, Jean, that He sent His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, into the world so that we who believe in Him should not fear death, but trust Him for eternal life. And in fact, this is what the thief on the cross did in his last moments on earth by saying, "Lord, remember me when you come into Your kingdom." And simple as that, Jesus promised in response, "Today, you will be with Me in paradise." I pray these words give you hope and faith for the future.
So sleep well, tonight, sis, and know that you are loved. Linda and all the kids send their love (especially Kate:-)
Your brother with love,