Count It All Joy…

My friend Kathy B. from Count it all Joy

Kathy B. began her last struggle with her illness on August 2nd.

Since August 2nd many emails and texts have been  going back and forth among friends and family who could not stand watch at the hospital or be with her when she was released to Hospice care in her home. Here is one from Kathy’s sister in law.

“It is truly a blessing to see the many friends who have rallied around Kathy and Bill and who have bathed them in prayer and love. Kathy’s battle is continuing to be epic in her strength during this long illness. She has had this cancer for over 28 years and is the worldwide longest survivor of this form of ugly cancer. My sister-in-law has used this sickness to grow into a “woman after God’s own heart”.  Her witness is evident in the testimony of all the people who have been visiting and posting messages. Our lives have been richly blessed by her strength in her weakness.”
Kathy survived her hospital and I.C.U. experience regaining consciousness and being able to be taken off the respirator. She was released for hospice care at home where she was able to communicate and enjoy her own home surrounded by the comforts familiar to her. She helped plan her funeral service and was miraculously able to get out of her bed and enjoy going outside to her garden. The beginning of Fall brought more hurdles for Kathy as her lungs filled with fluids and she had difficulty breathing. Her “Cute Boy” and my dear friend Jeanie were at her side while she struggled through her last hours. She went from the arms of her “Cute Boy” to the arms of Jesus early on Sunday September 25th.

I Am Standing on the Sea Shore

I am standing on the sea shore,
A ship sails in the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
She is an object of beauty and I stand watching her
Till at last she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says:
“She is gone.”

Gone! Where?
Gone from my sight – that is all.
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when I saw her
And just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me,
not in her.

And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
“She is gone”,
There are others who are watching her coming, and other voices take up a glad shout:
“There she comes”
– an that is dying.

Bishop Brent
1862 – 1926

Her sister Jeanie married my cousin Jim. Jeanie and Kathy started a blog together called The Matson Sisters – becoming our Mother. I took this photo of Jeanie and Kathy from that blog.

Kathy and Jeanie lived a few hours from each other. They talked everyday on the phone and each morning Kathy would pick a hymn for them to sing together.

Before blogging I only knew Kathy as “Jeanie’s sister”. Over the years we’d see each other at a major family function here and there. After Kathy started her blog “Count it all Joy” and I had my blog we became real good bloggy buddies. I grew to love her and appreciate her just as much as I did my dear friend Jeanie. I thank God that our blogs brought us together in a more intimate way. I learned a lot from Kathy. I got to see her in person at the weddings of her nephews, my cousin’s sons. Two of the photos above are from Ben and Kristin’s wedding. I said on facebook after Kathy went into I.C.U. that when I was with Kathy I felt like I had seen Jesus. Those who suffer much reflect Him more. I’m going to miss my dear bloggy friend Kathy B. and I look forward to seeing her again in heaven.

I stole this photo of Kathy with her Cute Boy from Kathy’s blog…

Kathy B.! I’m looking forward to sitting at the Banqueting Table in heaven with you. Love you dearly…I’ll see you later.

About Ellen am a wife, mother, baba (grandmother) and a loyal friend. Jesus is my King and my hope is in my future with Him.

26 thoughts on “Count It All Joy…

  1. What a gift your friendship with Jeanie and Kathy has been. I have to admit that there was a hard lump in my throat as I read this post, but I was overcome with the feeling of rejoicing at your last line.

  2. What a beautiful tribute to such a dear soul. 28 years….glory I can not imagine. Sad for all who are feeling a loss, praying His comfort will be felt yet rejoicing for her….face to face!

  3. This is a sweet remembrance of your friend, Ellen. I can only imagine the joy she is experiencing now, and it makes me long for the day when we sit together in heaven, feasting and singing praises to our Lord.

  4. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Kathy is living as she never lived on earth. What a wonderful testimony of God’s grace on her life. Praying for all of you who loved her so.

    When we all get to heaven. . .

  5. What an incredible testimony. I can only think how alive she is at this moment. How healthy and envigorated she is there with the Lord. Grieving is not an easy thing, but somehow I sense that your family and extended family will do it well and it will honor Him and your darling Kathy. Prayers for comfort and peace and love…

  6. Oh Ellen B! What a beautiful post and tribute to Kathy. I knew her very little but she seemed a very sweet woman. I know she will be missed, but then there is that hope of seeing her again. What an amazing God we serve…redeeming our souls as as bodies die away.
    xoxo cori g.

  7. Oh, Ellen, this is so hard for you and those who loved her. You did a nice thing for her in your memorial. It’s interesting to me that her blog was “Count it all Joy” because another blog I read is called “Choose Joy” and this lovely young woman just went to be with the Lord this very last Friday. She had been ill for several years and had not been able to leave her apartment for years, and yet she stayed joyful and encouraging to others through her blog. Kathy and Sara will be getting to know each other in the ‘Newcomers’ Class’.
    In case you are interested:

  8. Oh dear Ellen,
    You have written this so beautifully. Thank-you for sharing your heart about your relationship with her and her family. And I love that poem…I remember you sharing it awhile back..and am saving it for a special occasion.
    Please know that you are in our thoughts as you reach out to her family.

  9. I love that poem too! Seeing your friend go is hard… but knowing where she is going makes it easier. She has run her race with grace. My heart goes out to you and those close to her, especially her “cute boy”… May God give strength and comfort for the days ahead.

  10. What an inspiration Kathy has been to so many people. May each of us learn from her courageous life and shining example. My prayers are with her family and friends.

  11. Oh Ellen, this is a beautiful tribute to Kathy. Tears are streaming down my face as I read this. I experienced pure joy being with her so much since August 3rd. I felt like I was walking on holy ground as I sat by her hospital bed.Her sweet grateful spirit shone all the way to her last breath.

    I will forever be changed by knowing her….

  12. What a lovely tribute to a wonderful woman. May God give you comfort and peace as you grieve. What a beautiful picture…sitting together again at that banqueting table!

  13. You have written such a beautiful tribute to your dear friend. We do not mourn as those who have no hope. That radiates throughout your whole post. Love the thought you left us with – the banqueting table! Awesome! What a day that will be……

  14. A very sweet tribute to your friend. Sorry for your loss, may God comfort those left behind and may the thought that she is indeed with the Lord and that you will be with her one day at the banqueting table continue to uplift your hearts.

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