Life, Death, that Virus and the New Normal Pt. 2

After having my two oldest siblings die, I had so much to do, I couldn’t see straight. Especially with the death of my sister. I am the only sibling living here in Florida, so after two of my brothers came down for the memorial and to help me clean out the apartment, I was left with the aftermath of death. I hope that doesn’t sound cruel, but that is what it felt like.

At first, I was not even going to have a service, because my sister had no friends. But her church family wanted to have something and they were so gracious to help. Then, I had to forward mail, take care of the bills. I had to return the modem to the cable company, return her phone to the cell company, turn off the electric, stop this and stop that and the list goes on. And frankly, I was exhausted.

So here comes this virus, which I know it’s a curse, but it’s been a blessing for me. (I hope that doesn’t sound uncaring). I was telling my brother the other day, that in the midst of all of this, I am so blessed that I feel guilty. People are dying and losing their jobs and I am not. But my brother told me, don’t feel guilty, because we (God’s people} have a covenant with God).

Last year from January to July, I was working for a company through a government employment program. Finally, in July, my boss decided to bring me on as an independent contractor for more than double the money. In the midst of that this the Lord told me to tithe double. Now, this was a crazy sacrifice, but I obeyed and I see why I was instructed in this manner.  Just a few months of being brought on as an independent contractor, I got a raise and then finally, my boss offered me a permanent full-time position with benefits. But here is what is the real blessing. I switched to the company payroll, right before this virus, which has afforded me the security of 60 days’ pay since the company is shut down. And even after the 60 days, there is an emergency fund. We are working from home, but it’s pretty much like a vacation. The workload is very light and we have a staff meeting once a week and we can report our 80 hrs every two weeks!! I want to shout for joy every time I think about it. I got on the payroll just in the nick of time! I had been going non-stop since my brother’s death, so this interruption for me had been a blessing in disguise.

See why I feel guilty? I am well aware that this is not the experience of many others. Some are sick, some have buried loved ones, and some don’t know how they are going to pay their bills, but all I can say is those of us that love God, we have a covenant! Now that doesn’t mean nothing bad can happen, but it means that we are covered through the good the bad and the ugly!

If you want God’s covering over your life you need to accept Jesus, as your Lord and savior! Accept Christ today, so you can be in covenant too!

John 3:16 New International Version (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 10:9-10 New International Version (NIV)

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.


Life, Death, that Virus and the New Normal Pt. 1

I was struggling with the title of this post because I have so much to write. A lot of it is personal, but how could anyone write a blog post without mentioning the dramatic changes that have come to our lives and the entire world.

I’ve had some dramatic changes recently, in losing my two oldest siblings within four months. My oldest brother had a stroke nine years before passing and he succumbed to complications last October. But the shocker was my sister. Even though she was 16 years older than me, and I am no spring chicken, she had dreams and visions and plans for the future, but she left here suddenly.

I was prompted to write today because I was going through some of my sister’s pictures that I took from her place when my brothers and I cleaned out her apartment. As I went through the photo albums, I pulled out the pictures of her and decided to throw the rest of the photos away. I started thinking that we accumulate all of this “stuff” only for people to toss it in the trash after we die. My sister never had any children, and a lot of her photos have no meaning to me. She took oversees trips, she had pictures of her ex-husbands family and I am sure some of those pictures would bring back nice memories for her, but now that she is gone, those photos have no meaning.

Ah, life…we struggle to make a name or not, accumulate wealth or not and then we die and family get’s what is left. My sister named me as a secondary representative to handle her estate in her Will, second to my brother who just passed away. She didn’t have time to change anything and I’m sure she was not thinking she was going to die. The process of probate has been a nightmare. My sister did not have much money and so far I have spent almost $1,000 dollars just to be named executor of her estate and file the paperwork with the courts. And I am still not done! Ah, life…and then death.

It’s important to have everything together as far as estate planning and a Will. I think by the age of 30, that should be done. It makes it so much easier for those who are left behind. My sister wanted to be buried, but she borrowed against her Life Insurance Policy and once repaid, it left very little to bury her the way she wanted. I know it’s controversial for Christians, but I made the decision to have her cremated. The truth is I had no choice. It was all I could afford to do. So if you want certain things done at the time of death, make financial provision for it.

My sister was a bit of a hermit. My father had her and my oldest brother who died in 2007 before he married my mother. Together my mom and dad had six more children. So there were eight of us. Now there are are only five of us. After I moved to Florida, I learned my sister had been abused as a child, more than once. The first time was by a cousin and the other time, she never said. Once she told me that, I finally understood why she acted so strange over the years and stayed to herself. She always stayed away for long periods of time and then we would see her again. Even while living here in Florida that is the way she functioned. The sad part is she was never healed. And she died alone. The paramedics said that she was probably lying on the floor for three or more days. Her apartment complex finally did a wellness check because she was late paying her rent and she was never late. Plus a package was delivered and it sat outside of her door for several days.

I know this is a sad story, but I am sharing it because sometimes we never let people in. Not even our family and then we come to a tragic end. My sister was planning a move to California. But I remember when she told me the Lord spoke to me and told me “that is not going to happen.”. I just assumed it meant she would change her mind. Not that she would die. Her walls were lined with boxes for years, planning for a move that never materialized. I guess I am sharing this because it’s now or never for some of us. Either we are going to get in place or get out of stuff that we shouldn’t be in, or just forfeit the promise. Don’t die without seeing your promise!

Hebrews 11:13, NASB: “All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” Hebrews 11:13, NLT:

RIP Sis!

Younger Helen