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.