From the Archives: October 24, 1999

October 17. The morning was just about over, the last of the Sunday crowd was beginning to filter out onto the patio. I was wandering through the lobby, and someone wanted to talk, so I paused. Her eyes were a bit misty, but it could have been the smog! She’s a member of the “greatest generation” and had something on her mind.

Last Sunday was a traditional day of “battle” for her. She used to have a friendly little competition with the Cordovas over who would provide the flowers for the third Sunday in October. She said she’d try to make sure they’d each get the week reserved every other year. For you see, she shared anniversary dates with Jesse and Gloria.

But the days of jostling for that date are over. Her husband died eight years ago, and last Sunday would have been anniversary number 51. There was some sadness in her voice, and perhaps a small tear. But I would have had to look too closely to tell. I write about the incident because of what happened next.

She didn’t linger on the poignant details but moved quickly to share how it really wasn’t a sad day for her. In fact, I had to ask her how long her husband had been with Jesus! She bravely related that these are days for her to look ahead. No looking back. There is life to live, and she is going to live it.

I was impressed. Sure, she misses her husband, but there is nothing that will bring him back. This is the hand that she’s been dealt by the Lord, so there will be no self-pity, no regrets. Life is to be lived and she will live it.

I came away so encouraged — so blessed. Here is a woman who loves the Lord and lives with a godly perspective on life…and death. Sure, it would be wonderful to continue to “battle” the Cordovas for the third Sunday in October, but God has stepped in and that is not to be any more. And that’s OK with her. Her trust in God and God’s plan is resolute.

So, Eunice Ankrum, way to go! Way to blaze a trail of faith. May your tribe increase. And may we husbands (and wives) learn to teach our mates to be as ready for anything as you are. Bob Ankrum prepared you well. Life is not always kind or easily understood, but God is always good. May we never forget the simplicity of that truth. And may we live one day at a time — for His eternal glory!