Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ohio Sister-in-law, 18 June 1944-18 October 2011

If you’ve read about my Ohio Sister-in-law (Osil) here she is.  If you want to know more about her, she started a blog just this summer to tell others about the miracles in her life.  Her blog is called “The Groves and Their Branches” and it is incomplete. I know it will be updated and more of her life will be told.  I can also assure you it was more than a pleasure to know her, it was a blessing.

We didn’t meet until after our oldest children were married.  Our husbands were separated in 1945, hers remaining with the boys’ mother in Ohio and the two older boys going to Oklahoma with their father.  It took 37 years before they were reunited.

We came together with lots of family history, feelings, culture that could have led to additional rifts and lack of understanding.  Instead, we bonded and came to appreciate each other and our deep, abiding love for Jesus Christ, our personal Lord and Savior, sharing our love of service in His church.

Strongly based in their faith, Osil and her husband helped a church-planting pastor start a new church, opening their home for the first services, before the church grew out of it.  As soon as they moved back to their childhood home town, they joined and became active in a local church.  Her love of God was so strong in her life that her last e-mail out to family included:
I know it is very risky and I may not live through the surgery. But I can't go on living like this either. If I don't have it done, I won't be here this time next year, or less.
I pray God is with me and I ask for your prayers also. If I don't make it I want all of you to know that I love you very much. And if you haven't excepted Jesus into your heart then please do.
Prayers were with her, and they were answered.  She is so healed now!

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (1 Peter 1:23 KJV)

Osil looked upon the majority of her life as a miracle, and her son as the miracle who gave her life.  That story was told in the first few blogs she wrote.  She was not well and went to the doctor.  They found that she was pregnant – and that she had Hodgkin’s Disease.  Were it not for that pregnancy morning sickness, the disease could have spread unnoticed.  Had she followed the doctor’s advice and aborted the child in order to take radiation treatments, her story would be somewhat ordinary.  Instead, she fought for her son, underwent surgeries, gave birth, then took radiation treatments to clear her from the cancer.

Those treatments caused her heart valves to begin calcification years later – but those were years she might not have had.  Those are the miracle years for which she gave thanks, year after year, as she saw her children mature, marry and provide grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Miracles that many people did not get to enjoy. The greatest joy of her life, though, was her Wonderful Husband.  Her last blogs tell of their meeting.

My Bible tells me I will see her again.  We discussed that while they were here this summer.  Under the Tree of Life, beside the River of live, we planned a picnic.  Please, come join us.

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1-2 KJV)

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