JEAN’S STORY ABOUT HER DAUGHTER LINDA WARD
As the day was dawning , I lay resting in my recliner beside my precious daughter , Linda’s bedside. God has been so good to me. He gave me five beautiful children within a twenty one year span. I was seventeen when God gave this special needs child to me. She grew up to be so loving , trusting and forgiving. Like Christ wants all his children to be. Oh we had our difficult moments!
We grew up together learning through trial and error of how to deal with a special needs child. The doctors said she will never live pass infancy and here in three days she will be forty seven years old.
Today she is so sick and she is choking and struggling to breathe. As I tap her gentle on the back she finally gets up some mucus. She is suffering from pulmonary fibrosis. I gave her something for nausea and as she settles down, she ask me to get in bed with her and hold her.
As I loved her up, she said momma I love you so much. [She was always free to compliment, praise and love me] I said I love you too honey.
As we lay there in her bedroom , full of angels, dolls and teddy bears. She said momma it’s time for me to go now. I said what do you mean? She said today I’m going to be with Jesus , I’m going to die but I’m not afraid, I’ll miss you momma. I wanted to hold her forever and scream you can’t leave me. Instead I said Momma will be ok ,trying not to upset her. I ask her are you sure you’re going home today? Yes, momma she said you just don’t know how tired I am.
She closed her eyes and seemed to rest . I went to the phone and begin to call her brother and sisters and the Hospice nurse.
It was only in January 2004 that we had been to see Dr. Peters at St. Thomas in Nashville, Tn.
He told us Linda had less than a year to live and we might want to consider hospice. Linda spoke up and said, you don’t know when I will die . Only the good Lord knows and I’m not ready to lay down and die. I don’t want hospice she said. He said well Linda you are right only God knows, but if or when you are ready for hospice just give me a call. Three weeks ago she said mom it is time to call hospice. Now three weeks later she is making preparation for her new birth and she is trying to prepare me.
As the children begin to gather in her bedroom. She opens her eyes and looks toward the ceiling upon my head. I ask, Linda what are you looking at honey? She said oh, I was just looking at daddy. Her father had died when she was eighteen months old. But she had a wonderful stepfather who reared her and had died ten years earlier. She closed her eyes and rested for few hours.
Suddenly she open her eyes. The look was so intense and her eyes looking up toward the ceiling but looking beyond as if she was looking into heaven.
I ask, what are you looking at Linda? She responded , oh I was just looking at all the angels. I choked and ask her if they were pretty? Oh , yes momma they are beautiful and closed her eyes once more for the last time.
Now, I recall just four years earlier. We had gone out to eat. Linda had steak and as we neared our home Linda began to get sick and vomit and lost conscience.
As we drove up into the drive my husband of five months ran into the house and called 911. The paramedics work with her for about fifteen minutes before taking her to the hospital. They could not determine what happen to her but suspected she had aspirated on her food as she was vomiting.
Two days later she reveal to me , that when she got sick in the car, she died and was so afraid to leave me.
She said Jesus took her by the hand and took her to this place so bright and beautiful and full of colors and flowers she had never seen before. She said oh, momma the angels are so beautiful and do not look like the pictures drawn of them. She said I never saw Jesus but I felt his touch and knew it was him, I was not afraid .
She said Jesus spoke to her and said Linda it is not your time and he brought me back to you momma. Then she said I know one thing momma when I die I want be afraid and I’ll never come back. It was like she looked for that day with anticipation . She loved life and had touch so many lives. Always smiling, always had a big hug for you , never met a stranger , never forgot your name or face. Had true agape love.
Now, as the family gather around to help any way they can. After being so strong , I can’t bear to stay in the bedroom any longer . I can’t hold back the tears and my heart is breaking . She has been my best friend, my prayer partner, my life.
Two minutes before midnight she made that journey to the other side and I know she was and is so happy.
Three days later on her birthday we buried that sweet little earthly body God had intrusted me with .
The temple where God had dwelled and done great works through Linda. She was not ashamed of her Lord and Savior and did not hesitate to tell others about him.
She had a decernment for spirits and you could fill the love of God flow through her.
It will be eight years this may since Linda has left us yet God in his love comforts me as I read his word.
As Linda was laid to rest on her birthday her family and friends gathered arounf to sing happy birthday for the final time and release ballons after the song. It was silent as all watched the balloons drift eastward and out of sight. It was a fitting end to her life. Linda loved her birthday and would have loved to see all the people who came out for her final"party".