Ten Years Ago

Our daughter, Crystal, got to meet her Lord and Savior in heaven ten years ago this month.
When I visited her room early in the evening before her death, Crystal was awake as I talked to her. The nurses didn’t want us to stay long because they said she needed sleep. I told Crystal to get some rest and that I would be back. The next time I returned she was asleep. I never saw her awake again.

The words of a song penned by Dottie Rambo came to mind:

“Soon I shall hear the call of heaven’s portals
‘Come home my child,
It’s the last mile you must trod.’
I’ll fall asleep and wake in God’s sweet heaven,
For I’m sheltered in the arms of God.”

Early the next morning her husband, Dave, and I were in her room standing by Crystal’s bed, each holding one of her hands and talking to her, though she could not hear us. We each kissed her forehead as she slipped silently from this world, out of our hands and into the loving arms of Jesus. Dave and I talked as we drove home from the hospital early that morning. I said to Dave, “Dave, I tied the knot for the two of you fourteen years ago and we just untied the knot together to release her back to God.”

Dave said, “Yea, that’s right, and I am so happy for her, even though I know I’ll miss her very much.”

The program for leukemia was to run something like:
chemo treatments
stem cell transplant
periodic treatments

Crystal skipped a few steps. She had:

Except, she was transferred to heaven for the cure, and the big difference was that her cure was permanent!

For us, the beginning of Crystal’s life was much better than the end of her life. It’s Crystal Clear that for her it was just the opposite. The end of her life here was the gateway to her fantastic life now.

On August 1, 2005, Crystal left the hospital for home. It was her final trip home. The last days of her life here were painful; but that pain came to an end early in the morning when she died. Then the ‘stone’ was rolled away for her too. She rose from the dead, just as Jesus did! She is not dead! She lives today!!

To us, it’s Crystal Clear that our daughter is with the Lord in a place beyond description; but the pain of her loss has been incredibly deep. The belief we have that she is in heaven doesn’t eliminate the stinging pain we still often feel. Yet, we are able to bear it because we know she is with Jesus, and we know we will see her again.

Ten years compared to eternity is a blink of an eye.  Missing Crystal for ten years has been difficult but Elmer Cole reminds us in his song, “Ten Thousand Years,” that:

“Ten thousand years... We'll just be started.
Ten thousand years... We've just begun.
The battle will be over... And the victory is won.
Ten thousand years... And we've just begun.”

That is the unshakable hope we have in Christ; and to us, that, too, is Crystal Clear!