In memory of a sweet friend we lost one year ago today. I know heaven has been especially bedazzling this past year with Tissy in residence.
When I was a preschool music teacher several years ago, I remember marveling at the fact that even amongst three-year olds, there could be a “popular” kid that all the other little ones wanted to be around. Take, for instance, Natalie. Every child in her class wanted to scoot their mat right up next to hers during music time. This girl would have had a classmate on all four sides of her if I would have allowed it. But besides being a cute little girl, I can’t recall anything particularly remarkable about her. What attracts a flock of three-year olds anyway? Were they thinking, “She hardly EVER wets her pants , I want to sit by HER!”? Or “That girl right there? She KNOWS her colors, man. And she can count to five like that!” (snap of finger)?
I think of Tissy as “that girl” amongst us. Don’t you always want to be near Tissy? Doesn’t she have a way of making you feel better just by being with her? That smile and those eyes! She doesn’t even need to say anything and you already know you like her. And then . . . actually talking to her! How is it that a person going through what she’s gone through in the last couple of years can turn things around so that SHE is the encourager?? I remember so many times asking her how she was and she’d say, “OK. How are you?” And then 5 minutes later I’d realize I’m yammering on about some thing that was bothering me and she was listening and comforting me! What?? I’d walk away thinking, “You have cancer and I have heartburn and you’re the one ministering to me.”
We know it’s not that she’s potty-trained, or knows her numbers, but we know it’s that Tissy has Jesus shining out of her like crazy that draws us to her. I want to “scoot my mat” right up next to hers and just be near her. And I’m so grateful that though we will be separated for a time, I can count on sitting next to her again for all of eternity. With all of you! (I selfishly imagine there’s a “CBS” room in heaven where we all hang out together. We’re sort of in a circle like on Tuesday mornings and 11:30 just never comes – we stay all “day” and sing and laugh and share stories. Oh, and the temperature is just right there, too. Poor Jodi isn’t freezing nor is Susan P wanting to make it cooler! 🙂 )
When you all wrote down the title of your favorite praise & worship song or hymn last year, Tissy wrote “I Know Whom I Have Believed.” I just discovered this morning that is comes right out of Scripture (imagine that!): 2 Timothy 1:12 – “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I KNOW WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.” (I love this whole passage, verses 8 – 13. I can just picture Tissy speaking those words.)
My imagination gets the better of me sometimes, but I can’t help picturing this going on in heaven right now: The angels just get word that Tissy could be arriving sometime soon. They look at each other and grin and get wide-eyed. The “Martha”-type angels fly around quickly and say “There’s work to be done!” (like there are any messy rooms in heaven??). The angels in charge of long white gowns and halos hatch a plan with a wink at each other. They’re going to go a little “off the beaten path” with this one. They fly quickly to heaven’s version of the big room of gowns on “Say Yes To The Dress” and start searching through the racks. “Here it is!!! I found it!” says one angel to the other. She pulls out a bright PINK gown with accompanying sunshine YELLOW sash. “Tissy is going to ROCK that!” says the second angel. Meanwhile, “Martha”-angel shouts to her staff: “GET THE BIG ROOM READY, EVERYONE IS GOING TO WANT TO SIT NEXT TO HER!! . . . . oh dear, do we have enough mats? . . . . . MARY? Where ARE you???”
See you again someday, Tissy!