12 years ago today, my husband Kevin, lost his Mom to cancer. When Kevin and I started dating, she was in remission from breast cancer. When Beverly and I first met, we immediately developed a friendship. Not long after Kevin and I were married and expecting a baby, the cancer had come back in her lungs, bones and brain. I was 8 mos. pregnant with Dalton when she called to tell Kevin that she received the report from the doctor and only had a few months to live. I can very clearly remember that evening in Feb'98. It was devastating as you can imagine.
Shortly after we heard the news, we went to visit Kevin's parents in Lebanon. There was a time during the visit when Kevin went outside with his dad, and it was just Beverly and I along with the neighbor lady sitting in the living room. I won't ever forget when Beverly came over to me and put her hand on my stomach for just a moment. She then turned around and sat back down on the sofa and said, "I don't want to go, but I'm ready to go. It's just with the baby...." She didn't say anymore after that. I knew she was thinking that she may not make it to see her new grandchild. On March 24, 1998 Dalton arrived and I am happy to say that she did get to see him and hold him. Dalton had to be in the NICU for a little while and we could only have 4 people on our visitor's list. We of course included Beverly. Due to her condition she was told not to walk long distances, but one day while coming back to the hospital to see Dalton, she had to park pretty far away in an overflow parking lot (this was before Women and Babies of Lancaster existed). Although she knew how far she had to go that didn't stop her! She walked as far as she possibly could before collapsing in the lobby. She was given a wheelchair and then she continued on to get to Dalton. I thank God for letting her see her grandson. An example of how caring and unselfish she was, she actually said that my brother could take her place on the list since she may not be able to come back to see Dalton again. I believe that would have been an extremely difficult decision for her to make especially since she knew her time with Dalton was limited and she was concerned for his medical condition. All she wanted was to make sure he came out of the NICU as a healthy baby. He did come out of the NICU healthy and strong on April 4, 1998. Beverly was made aware of this, and 3 days later she passed away at home. We were later told that one of the reasons she hung on so long was to make sure Dalton had a clean bill of health and was able to come home.
I wanted to honor Beverly's life today by writing about how amazing she was. She was a very determined, independent woman who loved her 4 children and grandchildren. I see that determination every time I look at my sister-in-law, Liz. Another thing I know for sure is that Beverly loved the Lord. I don't have the answers as to why she had to leave this earth so soon, but I do know that she is not gone from us forever. Her suffering is over and she is in Heaven where we will meet again.
Author unknown, "Christians don't die, they just say goodbye."