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Wednesday, March 05, 2014
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John 14:1-4

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."

Revelation 21:3

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Revelation 21:16-27

The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits thick, by man's measurement, which the angel was using. The wall was made of jasper and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the elevent jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold like transparent glass. I didn't see the a temple in the city because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are it's temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it for the glory of God gives it light and the Lamb is it's lamp.

It sucks when you lose somebody, it sucks even more when you realize that you allowed weeks, months or even years escape you without reaching out to that somebody for whatever excuses you had in your head to justify not keeping in touch. There's simply no great excuse - when you get to the core of the matter.

You can't beat yourself up for that - you can't punish, torture or even question yourself with all the "What if I....", "Why didn't I....." questions that just taunt you into potentially giving into the sadness that is - Missed opportunities or moments that you could have partaken in during that duration of silence.

It's taken me the greatest part of the day to process my feelings and thinking. I debated even posting or blogging about it - cause lets be real - it's a downer when you find yourself reading something that is so heavy laden. Yet I want you to know who my Tia was.

My aunt Irene was known to some as Aunt Irene or Aunt Hilda but to me and my sister and brother she was known to us as simply Tia - which in Spanish means aunt. I never knew my aunts real name until I was a young teenager because we didn't refer to her by name only by title: Tia. She was the eldest daughter in a group of 9 children to my grandparents - hard working field hands that picked beans from fields to earn a living and support their family. When my granddad became a Christ follower and left that life my grandmother took my dad and my uncle out of school around the ages of 12 and 14 to help her pick beans to earn a living.

The thought of my dad and uncle being field workers angered my granddad, so he took both of the boys and entrusted them to their much older sister to care for and raise. . So my tia raised my dad and cared for him as though he was her own. Though she was my father's sister, she treated him much like she was his mother. Along with the territory of caring for him came the protective nature of any mother to child relationship and in her eyes, my dad could never do any wrong. She cherished and loved my dad as much as she loved her very own children and this is the reason why despite her being our aunt she treated us more like grandchildren.

My tia's home was a second home to my sister, brother and I. My dad would often drop us off with her when my mom was working and he had things that he needed to tend to. There were four things that were always a gaurantee when visiting: 1. My tia would be made up- her hair and make up done. She was the first example in my life of what it looked like to be fashionable. I never saw her without her makeup 2. We'd always be fed some delicious Mexican dish. Sometimes I'd sit in the kitchen and watch her help the maid throw things in a pot. The smells of the food seeped into the walls and curtains of her home and the signature smell that you encountered upon entering her home was warm and welcoming. 3. During the spring and early summer the mandarin oranges and lime trees would be in bloom in her back yard and these made the perfect weapon to throw at my sister, brother or cousin. 4. We'd leave spoiled, happy and loved. She often gave us little trinkets or things that she had found at the flea market and on several occasions my sister and I left her home with sample lip sticks that she had from her Avon stash.

God blessed me almost 2 weeks ago with the opportunity to visit with my Tia, despite not having any communication with her over the course of 3 years. I'm thankful that I had a few moments to share my life with her and to show her pictures of Ray and the kids and to be able to bring her a few moments of joy. I'm thankful that I had private time with her to be able to share with her what I believe heaven is and what I believed was waiting for her on the other side. I'm thankful that I could tell her how much I cared for her and to tell her how thankful I was that she was my Tia and that she made me so happy as a child. I'm thankful that even though she couldn't speak, that she squeezed my hand and confirmed that she was listening and that she could understand what I was saying in the last few minutes I had with her.

 It's because of the belief in an afterlife that I am comforted today. However, even that doesn't take away the heartache that is losing a loved one. I'm so VERY THANKFUL that though we were separated for a time on this earth, that the Lord brought us together again before she left and though we'll be separated for a while longer this time, we will see each other again. That in itself is worth hoping for.

Every conversation with my tia ended with her final blessing: "Que Dios Te Bendiga". I know that's what she wanted to say when I kissed her cheek and told her I loved her and that we'd be reunited soon. "I have been blessed" is what my heart felt in that moment - and it's the first and last time I whispered to her "Que Dios Te Bendiga, Tia".

Heaven has to be real because I can't believe that when we die it's the end of our entire existence. It's just in my nature to believe this way and it goes back with me back to early childhood when my sister's kitten died in a tragic roller skating incident (the first vivid memory I have of questioning death and what happens after we die). I choose to believe in what the Bible says about eternity because it's a promise that Jesus made while He was here on this earth. It's the only thing that gets me through times like this. Yes, it's a crutch to some but I'll be the first to admit that I need the crutch that is my Savior because I simply can't be comforted any other way. If people perceive that is weakness I'm perfectly fine with it either way.

Psalm 30:5:
5
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.

My tia passed away today, she leaves behind everyone who has loved her and cared for her through out these many years and is now reunited with her husband my Tio, my dad, her grand daughter's, daughter in law and many more who have passed before her time. She will be greatly missed.

 
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