March makes me think of oh so many things Irish. Half my ancestors are Irish, and more than half of my husband’s are Irish. So when our daughter was born we named her Erin. She had so many battles to fight in her brief life. She had Dandy-Walker Syndrome, a defective heart, Spina Bifida, hydrocephalus, and so much more. As a result she required a whole bunch of surgeries. Not all at once, of course. She had 8 surgeries in her 10 months and 5 days of life. In between those she was home with us. She had amazing spunk, spirit, vibrancy~and could light up a room.
She changed lives and touched the hearts of the people in our parish profoundly. Despite her spunk, she had a stroke following a surgery. Her doctors were devastated. We told them they had nothing to feel guilty about. Their excellent care and deft hands had snatched her from death’s jaws for 10 months. God decided that her suffering must end and brought her dancing spirit home to Him. We grieved for ourselves yet rejoiced for her. But after her death we went through a lot of heartache, as one would expect. We sought counseling to help ensure that our marriage would survive the grieving.
During that time, (this was more than 20 years ago) we were watching Touched by an Angel (a favorite show of ours, at the time). There was an episode featuring Wynonna Judd as a mom whose son was terminally ill. She was seeking strength and acceptance, and strength in how to selflessly let him go while she so wanted to hang on to him. The scene at the end of the show touched our hearts and let us weep our final poignant tears. It served to drive home God’s point in our hearts (then and now)….that Erin was His all along. She had been on loan. She is with Him~and since our hearts are with Him, too, we are forever with her even now. And her suffering is long gone. Praise be to God for that.
We are all on loan to each other. Treasure the moments we do have. That is our clarion call. Whenever I do hear Wynonna Judd sing this song, I rejoice that I am blessed with a great gift of faith~and that I cherish each moment I have with people I love. I will live to testify…. I am putting the lyrics here and embedding the video here.
Lyrics: I Will Live To Testify”
“All the colors of the rainbow
All the voices of the wind
Every dream that reaches out
Reaches out to find where love begins
Every word of every story
Every star in every sky
Every corner of creation lives to testify
For as long as I shall live I will testify to love
Be a witness in the silences when words are not enough
With every breath I take I will give thanks to God above
For as l shall live I will testify to love
From the mountains to the valleys
From the rivers to the seas
Every hand that reaches out
Every hand that reaches to offer peace
Every simple act of mercy
Every step to kingdom come
All the hope in every heart will speak what love has done