Monday, June 30, 2014


The world lost an amazing woman this past weekend. And I honestly don't know that I have ever been happier to hear of someone's passing. That may sound callous, but when I heard that Ali took her last breath, I was filled with rejoicing on her behalf.

I first met Ali as a brand-new baby teacher. She was a bright spot in a very difficult situation. She was always kind and helpful. We waited with anticipation that year as she was expecting her first child. A little girl who would be named Hannah. Five days before Hannah's expected birth, she died. It was devastating. A lot of questions were asked, and ultimately, it was determined that Hannah wasn't receiving enough oxygen. To Ali's great surprise, it was because a huge tumor was growing in her throat.

So a week that should have been filled with excitement was filled with grief over the loss of Hannah and a huge "what now" with the diagnosis of aggressive cancer.

That summer, Ali spent a large amount of time in Boston seeing specialists. Somewhere along the line, her boyfriend left her. I can't even begin to imagine how I would have responded to all of that happening in my life. It was truly like watching a modern-day Job story unfold.

Sometime after this, I lost track of Ali, beyond the occasional FB posts. But what I did know was that she found God. She developed an unshakeable faith and continued to face life with kindness and courage, touching and changing others the way she changed me.

A few years back, her cancer returned. With a vengeance. I know she has been in hospice for awhile. I saw a photo of her last week. She was so gaunt and looked so ill - yet her face continued to beam with joy.

So on Saturday, as she took her final breath, I know she was welcomed into her Savior's arms. She heard Him proclaim "Well done, my good and faithful servant!" And fifteen years later, she held that precious little girl in her arms.

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