For the past two years, the beginning of November specifically causes me to remember the final weeks of my wife’s life. I have found myself over and over again thinking about her peace – her beautiful, unshakable peace in the weeks and the days leading up to her death. I can only imagine the conversations she had with God in November and early December of 2012, as He walked with her through the most difficult moments of her earthly life. For a very brief time, in the aftermath of Jaime’s death, I viewed her passing as “the end.” With final breaths our marriage was over, her bodily presence in the lives of so many was over, as was the incalculable “what ifs?” Those thoughts alone were crushing. However, in the time that has passed, I find myself over and over again sharing with people that her death was more of a beginning than an end.
A few moments after Jaime took her final breath, they placed a paper angel on her door and left the two of us alone. The reality was that I was the only one in the room. My wife had, moments before, stepped into eternity. Her death wasn’t the end but the beginning of the best “days” she has or will ever have. Living in the light of that truth changes the way I think about her. Sure, I miss Jaime very much. There are many moments when my heart just aches at the thought of her absence. But it’s when I remember that right now, Jaime is in the presence of the God who created her, who sent His own Son to die on her behalf, and who welcomed her home two years ago, that I find the strength to live today in her honor and in the honor of the God who holds all of my tomorrows.
Jaime would never want us to wallow in sadness or to miss the opportunity to listen to the hurts of those around us and help those in need. As many of you know, she was never one to just sit around and wait for someone else to change things or to feel sorry for herself. What would Jaime have us remember on this two year anniversary of her heavenly departure? To live our lives to the fullest, just like she did; To live each day for a purpose greater than ourselves; And to see each word, and each action as an opportunity to shine the love of Christ, regardless of the momentary trials we find ourselves facing. She once shared that “after her cancer was over” she wanted to go around and encourage others facing illness and other difficult situations. Although Jaime is no longer here, her dream continues to be fulfilled. Still to this day, I receive emails from people who have found or been referred to her blog. Her courage in the face of such a horrible ordeal inspires them to not only press on but to cling to the faith that meant the world to Jaime – and means even more now as she enjoys the reality of the One in whom she believed.