My Christmas celebrations came to a halt yesterday. My neighbor past away in her sleep. Linda will have the ultimate Christmas . She will be singing with the angels and praising God in the highest. She will understand fully how the life of Christ was the light of her. I can't imagine what joy she must feel basking in His glory and His encompassing light . I can only know she is walking on the streets of gold with Christ because she lived her live for Him and the family that He gave her.
Linda and Larry Calvert have been our neighbors for over thirty-five years. I have a large front window . Through this window, I have watched the Calverts' children play and grow. We have gone through many snows together and helped dig each other out. We have planted every spring and talked about these plantings and our expectations. We have pruned every fall and discussed how this would help our plants next year. As I have looked out my window through these years, I have watched Linda and Larry as a team. I have watched them pack their van for a trips to Branson, the Smokey Mountains, and the Rockies. I have watched them return and heard their enjoyable reports of their trips together. In fact, through the years, the Calverts have made my daily journal entries many times. They are the kind of neighbors that you dream of having. They are always there if we needed help, water, or other emergencies.
Linda and I loved sitting on the porch and looking over the neighborhood and talking of how things have changed or not changed. I must admit that I would have to coax her to stop and sit. She was always busy with household projects or trips to town. We considered it a blessing that several of the residence on our street had been neighbors since the early seventies. We discussed Angie's upcoming marriage, her first baby, and her job. We talked of Nate's diabetes and then his new fiance, wedding plans, job, and life in Indy.
We considered how blessed we were to have husbands that took such good care of us and were faithful to God and His teachings. We laughed about grandchildren antics and aspirations. We never tired of talking about her flowers and mine. We reported our first hummingbird citing as well as how much we fed the local bird population. We talked often of God's constant care and blessings. We asked each other for prayer and knew that we would seek our Father's best for each other.
I showed Linda my first painting, and as usual, she was so complimentary. She was always interested in my current projects or our trips, our son's activities, and our new home improvements. She was a pure, pure spirit. I loved the gentle light that glowed within her. She was calming to be around. When she shared about Angie and Nate, it wasn't bragging but praise for how good God was to them. She was never boisterous just kind and loving. She demonstrated the love of Christ in her inquiries and her explanations of life's happenings.
Before Linda's heart surgery last spring, she shared that she was dreading it. We talked of how doctor's were well trained now and how God would be holding her hand. She recovered so quickly. She was home and talking to us the very week of her surgery. She said it was painful but manageable. That was so Linda. She liked focusing on the best, the light, the strength, and the joy in her life. That is what I loved about Linda. She wasn't critical but concerned. She wasn't negative but positive. She wasn't focused on worldly fashion, possessions, or money. Instead, she shared her love for her family, her granddaughters, nature, and God's beauty. She was the right person to hang around if I was feeling sad or discontent. Her conversations gave me a lift, a smile, and a portion of her gentle light.
I will miss that light outside my window. I will miss her sweet, childlike smile. I will try to learn from her and not focus on grieving but instead on her wonderful life eternal. God planted a beautiful woman in my life. I know we shall meet again one day. Until then, I will remember all her dedication to her "workouts" at the YMCA, her love of retirement because she could at last sleep late, her fastidious attention to her church family,and her diligence in being Larry's handmaiden.
Yes, sweet friend, you will be missed.