Spring trees

Sure, we say nice things about people when they die. It’s expected, right?

Well, in Judy’s case anything nice you say about her is true and more. She was one in a million: truly caring, loving, forgiving, gracious, generous, considerate, kind. She was inclusive, made a friend of anyone she met. She happily looked for opportunities to serve others. She took in “strays”. She did her best to rescue those in over their heads.

Judy loved her family… even those who weren’t connected by blood. She was the glue that held together not only the immediate family but nieces and cousins, great-grandmothers and great aunts…. In-laws, outlaws and everybody in between. She’d travel miles to see an elderly aunt or participate in a niece’s baby shower.

Judy remembered my tears and held them as her own.

She was a woman of great faith… faith-filled, faithful.

She knew how to have an elegant, but absolutely fun, dinner party. She was the perfect Southern woman- from New York! But she actually meant it when she said, “bless your heart”! If she was hurt, she’d quickly forgive.

Here was a woman who had walked through some really hard stuff. Things that would easily bring someone with less faith in Jesus, less strong belief in His goodness, to their knees. She had learned to walk through the hard circumstances without dwelling there. She was able to see beyond the pettiness of others and live in grace and mercy. She had empathy. She knew. Judy reminded us of what God is like- beautiful and loving and kind, always.

Jude was not only beautiful inside, she was beautiful outside as well. She was always dressed so pretty. And she’d sweetly tell you that gorgeous scarf was given to her by a friend, or the brooch was once her hubby’s great-aunt’s. She cherished the kindness of others toward her.

And Judy’s smile! Oh. Her smile would light up the room. She had the most radiant smile; it sparkled with true joy. And, believe it or not, it was never forced, never fake. Judy’s smile was the real deal. You could bank on it. And you could be sure she was genuinely happy to see you.

The expected news came about 8:30, just as the sun was clearing away morning clouds. I was sitting, phone in lap, staring out the window. I didn’t know I was expecting the news until it came. But there it was… my sweet friend, Judy, has passed into Glory, leaving a huge hole in the hearts of so many. Certainly in mine. I can’t believe it. How did this happen? This is a tragedy.

I was in the carpool line the day before, when I got the call from our friend, telling me Judy’s light was failing and she’d soon be going to her Heavenly home. So, it wasn’t a “surprise”. But, somehow, it’s always a “surprise” when it actually happens. Even knowing it’s coming, feeling the void before getting news, it’s a heavy blow.

I am so thankful we were friends. Judy was truly the dearest of the dear. She has indeed touched my life, blessing me time and again… all the time. A loving, encouraging, faithful woman of God. A true gentle-woman. A one in a million kinda girl.

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1:5

Her light is in Heaven now. She is singing with the angels, dancing with her Savior. She is free of pain and suffering. How can we be sad? Although we will always have her light in our hearts, we are sad for ourselves. But so very happy for our precious Judy.

I love you, Judy!

I hope you enjoyed meeting my friend, Judy.

Now… Go hug your friends!!