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Today is definitely not just another Monday. It is the first Monday my husband will wake with his mother unable to say, "Hi, Son," for she passed from this earthly life to her eternal home.

This not so ordinary Monday holds for my dear husband, his grieving father and sisters, tears of profound pain. I weep for them and with them because after knowing and loving Rose Daruk for nearly 25 years, I miss her too.

I glance up from my journal to notice two beautifully potted plants brought home from the funeral. Two of many gifts offered to the family in honor of a well-loved woman for a well-lived life. I will fight with all that is within me to keep these plants and more importantly her memory alive. I will remind my husband when he wakes that although he may hear the sounds of a normal Monday morning, there is nothing normal about this one and that together we will step into the unfamiliar.

How do you live without the woman whose womb God used to bring you life? I do not yet know this pain but I see its depths in my husband's red eyes. I see it as the tears slip down my father-in-law's cheek and memories of his bride of 53 years flood his heart.

Death. A topic hard to think about and infinitely harder to go through.

Beneath the bright green plants, a bookcase sits that holds many precious books that God has used over the past decade to transform my heart. One of them is my own, for long before it was written on paper, it was written on my heart.

What Does God Want You to do Before You Die?

As I think of Rose and reflect on the life she lived, one answer rises to the top. In John 15:13, Jesus said,

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

In the two and a half decades spent with my husband's mother, not one single time did I see her put her own needs above her families.

Not once.

This commandment and the question of this book mattered to this mother of three, grandmother of ten and great-grandmother of two for we had many conversations where her love for Christ and her desire to see him were plain.

Today, on this earthly Monday, Rose's former longing is reality as she no longer sees her Savior through a veil but face-to-face. Today, her earthly suffering seems light when compared to the glory surrounding her. Today, she breathes the breath of life even deeper than she loved those around her on earth and those who had the privilege of being loved by her know how deep that truly is. The image of this promise to my husband's dear mother absorbs death's sting like nothing else can.

So on this Monday like no other, I shall remind our hearts that we don't grieve as those who have no hope. We grieve, but with the venom emptied from the stinger for our Savior, King Jesus, has defeated death, hell and the grave. As we commit our hearts and trust our lives to him, because he lives, we can face tomorrow.

And today.

We will meet again in the celestial city, Dear Rose. Until then, on this Monday and all God extends beyond, we will cling to that promise and to the old rugged cross where together we will exchange it someday for a crown.

With my whole heart,


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