Monday, June 25, 2012

Dear Will, Gracy, and Caroline. . . . .

Dear Will, Gracy, and Caroline (and Bill, too. . . . )

When I learned that your mom was perfectly healed last Saturday night, I couldn't sleep.  My tears of grief and joy mingled together, flowing down on my cheeks, and I needed some time to just sit and process.

I went to your mom's CaringBridge page and started reading.  Not her journal entries, but the "Guestbook" comments, and do you know what I found?

"You don't know me, Laura . . . . .but I'm inspired by your story."
"You don't know me, Laura. . . . . but I'm praying for you."
"You don't know me, Laura. . . . .but thank you for pointing me to Jesus."

Over. and over. and over. and over.  The same story.  People who didn't know your Mom personally, had never even met her, but who were changed by her life.

I read somewhere that your mom had over 500,000 visitors to her CaringBridge site.  Her facebook page (now that you're reading this, does Facebook even exist?!) shows over 1700 friends.  That's over half a million people. . . half a MILLION! . . . .that know her story.  That were changed by her story.

I was changed, too.

See, the week that your mom found out that she had cancer, our own family got some incredibly difficult news.  Not like yours, but news that rocked our world and shook my faith in God to its core.  Since then, I've followed your mom's story pretty closely, and known her in a "Let's-have-a-conversation-in-the-hallway-while-we're-waiting-for-ballet-to-be-over" way.  She was one of my 'friends' on facebook, and she and I often traded crazy jokes back and forth.

So I watched. And read. And listened. And learned.

Your mom got one "No" after another from God.  So did we.  And for a while, we put our lives on hold, afraid to venture out, takes risks, take chances. 

Not your mom!  She lived. . .she really, really lived!

Last February, we were visiting in the hallway together.  And there she was, in her gorgeous head scarf (she could really rock a head scarf!), asking me about possibly teaching Civics in a homeschool co-op in the fall.  "Caroline will be starting Kindergarten," she said, "and I'm thinking that would be something I'd love, that would work with my treatment schedule and her school schedule."

{side note:  Will, do you remember that day?  We talked about building a dehydrator, and science stuff, and all sorts of other fun things.  Your mom just loved it that you were always so interested in things like that. . . her face lit up as she watched us talk!}

I walked away that day, and I was never the same again.

Your mom taught me how to live.

Your mom helped me to see that Jesus was enough.  He really, really was for her. . . . . and it is my prayer, through all the heartache and anger and grief and doubt and confusion that I know you will experience as you face the coming years. . . . .  . that He will be enough for you.

With love and prayers,
Heather Henriques

This blog post is written as part of Laura's request, that we continue her legacy of letters to her children 
on how her ministry has impacted our life.

If you have been impacted by Laura's story, and would like to write a letter, you may send it to:
P.O. Box 660982
Birmingham, AL 35266

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