Monday, March 21, 2011

She's Finally Dancing

Have I ever told you about my uncle and aunt, Sherwin and Laurie?  They are the most amazing, phenomenal couple I have ever met in my life (yes, even compared to Monte and me!).  Sherwin was born with Cerebral Palsy (CP) and has used crutches to get around since he has been able to walk.  He has always held a very special place in my heart, as I grew up only 10 minutes away from him.  I used to go with my dad to visit Sherwin and my grandma on Saturdays, and Sherwin and I would head out - sometimes on a walk to the local cafe to get pie, sometimes on a drive to McDonald's to enjoy some food.  Sometimes we would just walk for the sake of walking together.

For as long as I have known him, Sherwin has been a perfect example of Christ's love in action.  He loves God with all of his heart and never hesitates to sing praises to Him; whether he's walking down the road, at home, in his car or at the mall, Sherwin is almost always heard singing or whistling a praise song to God!  It's one of the things that I love most about him.

On July 17, 1993 he married his beautiful bride, Laurie.  I can't imagine a person better suited to be Sherwin's wife than Laurie!  She is full of life, spunk, laughter and love for God, for her family and her life.  Laurie had the right amount of sassiness to keep Sherwin on his toes (as it truly takes one with a good sense of humor and a lot of spunk and "fight" to keep up with my amazing uncle!).  One of the most remarkable things about Laurie, though, is the fact that she had Muscular Dystrophy (MD), but she never let it slow her down.  Due to her MD, Laurie was limited to being in a motorized scooter/lark, but she used that as a means to love on people, too!  You see, due to the fact that Sherwin and Laurie couldn't have kids of their own, they poured all of their love on their nieces and nephews (and their great-nieces and great-nephews) as if they were their own children.  So oftentimes one of the younger children would happily jump right on Laurie's scooter with her and go for a ride; the thing is, I think Laurie loved it just as much as the kids did!

Sherwin and Laurie have always been completely selfless, giving their all to be there for family.  No matter the occasion, whether it be a sporting event, a birthday party or a wedding or bridal shower, they were the first people to make sure that they would be there!  Truth be told, I had to tell Sherwin that he wasn't allowed to come to my baby shower, as he did come to my bridal shower (though he arrived toward the end) even though it was "girls only"!  They have always made it a priority to let the people in their life know just how loved they are, which in turn makes us want to bend-over-backward to help them in any way possible.

Unfortunately, the worst imaginable reason for help came this past Saturday.  Laurie had been in the hospital earlier in the week due to a bout with bronchitis.  As a result of her MD, Laurie didn't have the strength to cough up the fluid that was building in her lungs.  When she was in the hospital, they continually cleared her lungs for her.  She was sent home later that week, where Sherwin said she was still miserable.  She couldn't lie down to sleep, so she tried to sleep in her scooter or in a recliner, but Sherwin said she was getting only a couple of hours of sleep per night at best.  On Friday night she took a sleeping pill that the doctors had prescribed for her and went to sleep around 12:30am.  Sherwin awoke to check on her at 3:30am and instantly knew that she had gone to be with Jesus.

I received the phone call at 6:30 Saturday morning and was shocked beyond belief.  This beautiful, selfless, loving woman is now free from the pain of her MD and is dancing on streets of pure gold.  My sister, brother and I were among other family members who spent the day by Sherwin's side, walking with him through the meeting at the funeral home and the moments of grief that swept him.  It was a very hard day, as it breaks my heart to see his grief, but I know that he is extremely steadfast in his faith still to this day, as he told me today (on the phone) that "God is still good ALL THE TIME and she's finally home."

He's right, she truly is home now.  I imagine that she must be walking, running, dancing, cartwheeling and doing all those things that her physical handicap did not allow her to do on this side of heaven.  She's in the arms of Jesus and I can guarantee that she most definitely did hear that "well done good and faithful servant" because she truly was always a servant of God.  She and Sherwin had an unshakable unending love for each other and for our God, and it was and is one of my absolute favorite things about her.

Please keep my uncle in your prayers as he grieves for the loss of his beautiful wife.  We know that our time on earth is short, but I also know that it feels overwhelmingly long to him now that his best friend is gone.

*Photo "stolen" from my sister's blog, as I don't currently have another picture of Laurie.  This is Sherwin and Laurie with my nieces, Breanna and Khloe, and my nephew, Dawson.

We love you so much Laurie!  Your life on this earth spoke volumes to those who knew you.  To know you truly was to love you and I am forever grateful to have known you.  I can't wait to see you again.  Save a place for me.  I love you!

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