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"...a week to get your affairs in order."

Judy, my friend, just heard those hard words. Oh my!

What do people do when they hear that? How do they think with all those feelings spilling everywhere?

Judy knows she’ll be walking (maybe flying) through an invisible door and out of here into a better world. She is spiritually prepared. The woman carries a song in her heart like an excited child as if looking forward to a long voyage on a cruise liner, hankie in hand for waving to those left behind.

Maybe this is her crying-and-hugging time with family and friends. Or maybe it’s the rest of us who need the hugging-and-crying time.

Judy and I wrote her obituary months ago. She and Tom bought plots in a cemetery for their bodies, but when it is time, only her soul will go. The body will be placed in the ground.

What is left to do? How can I help her with her packing? And what is there to pack? Nothing. There really is no way for her to mess this up, no way to forget anything.

The relationship with the Master is the main thing. She tends that like a farmer to a garden.

If she needs to write a letter, maybe I can help with that. I’m 90% sure she has said her sweet goodbyes, given a gift or two, but sometimes those left behind need a love letter to reread until the day they die.

Other than that, it may be hand-holding time, blessing-others time, saying thank-you-for-sharing- life-with-me time.

My friend has a cabin near Melbourne, Arkansas, in the woodlands. No other place she’d rather be. A happy homeplace where she wears mountain-woman clothes and boots, feeds deer and turkeys, hikes a trail, rides a horse, works in a woodshed, stacks firewood, cooks a pot of beans. Such chores. So satisfying to her. She knows she has been pushing limits, but she is so set on living her life!

She may be the most-alive person I know.

God has His divine ways. After my friend became sick, God started using her even more to distribute His blessings. I think she has held on to do this good work for the Father.

All who come her way leave with something they did not bring into her room—love, a touch, a blessing. Listen. Wait. And hold on. Judy is having a good time.

Photo taken by Pat Durmon of dogwoods and a country road in the Ozark hills, 1990s.

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