Dear Friends –
I wanted to share with you a beautiful note I just received from my Cousin Lisa who lives in Lima, Peru. Like most of you …..Lisa has never actually met Terry in person and up until now has never had an opportunity to experience his blog site (which I have now shared with her). However, somehow through the periodic emails that I have written to her she has gotten to know and to love Terry.
Lisa is such a special person and her letter came at such a good time for me as Terry was cremated yesterday according to his wishes. I looked over to the empty chair last night where Terry used to sit, and I realized that Terry will no longer physically be with me anymore. Then after a moment of crying and temporary despair, I was comforted as I reminded myself that Terry truly is in a better place, and although he is no longer here with me in person, I know his spirit will continue to live within each of us for eternity and that we will meet again.
The power of his spirit is amazing. To think, in less than just one week since Terry’s passing, I have witnessed the goodness in so many of you, and although Terry’s body has now been transformed into a simple pile of dust (according to God’s plan) his spirit continues to radiate and to touch others. In this one example…..his spirit shined a light upon the heart of my Cousin Lisa all the way to Peru!
P.S. I will be leaving the Tampa area for a few days to stay at my brother’s in Orlando. I figured staying in a house verses an RV would be safer due to Irma. I have a blogging friend helping me post these right now, so please don’t be upset if I am not able to respond back right away. I will learn how to use this soon and hope to carry on Terry’s torch here at Spearfruit. Please know that I am reading and very much appreciate your comments and notes.
Note from my cousin, Lisa:
I logged into my gmail on Monday, and the subject line of your email pierced through my heart. I broke down and cried at the inhumanity of this dreaded disease, and I have found myself at a loss for words until now. Cesar and I both send our most heartfelt sympathies to you and to Terry’s family. As it happens, one of Cesar’s aunts is losing her own battle with cancer at the moment, but holding onto hope and a good vibrational spirit.
Some of us are destined to be taken away at a moment’s notice. I may have told you that Cesar’s brother Antonio left home on Christmas Day 2015 and was never seen or heard from again by the family, until his body was found ten days later, in a decomposed state. Incompetence and/or corruption on the part of the authorities made a mockery of the homicide investigation and added to the pain and sense of injustice. To this day, there are only unanswered questions and lingering suspicions. That wrenching from the family bosom, and the mystery surrounding Antonio’s disappearance and death, have left an open heart-wound. (But Antonio was a fervent Christian who lived his life in happy expectation of the next life, so there is comfort in knowing that he is where he was called home to be.)
Others of us, on the other hand, are destined to be faced with the knowledge of how and when our end of life on Earth will likely unfold. It is an emotionally, psychologically, and physically cruel transitioning. And yet, there is the blessing that one is given the opportunity to reflect and to reach out to express everything that needs to be expressed while there is still time and to close any outstanding emotional wounds. Terry survived his remaining months on Earth with courage and wisdom and humanity. I thank you so much, Gary, for sharing the reference to his blog with me. I spent hours reading through much of it on Monday and will continue to go back to read more and to re-read the posts and comments that I already did read. It amazed me what a sweet, generous soul he obviously was, always brightening someone’s day, always offering a kind and considerate comment. That, in and of itself, would have made him special to the many people who knew him through his blog. But his willingness to openly reflect on inner struggles and issues that are common to all of us in one form or another and to reach the core of others through his example clearly made him more than special. And seeing himself as ordinary made him extraordinary.
The only thing I really knew before about Terry was his fascination with Christmas lights, and it struck me at the time that he must have been a real kid at heart. Now I am struck by the childlike innocence and trust with which he revealed himself to himself and to everyone else through his posts. I am reminded that Jesus said, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Terry really did become like a child, didn’t he, in his simple, plain, open, guileless honesty and generosity of spirit, and that touched people and made them connect. That kind of human unity is divinely inspired. I don’t think that there is any doubt about where he is now.
The difficult part for Terry has passed. That is the blessing. For you, too, dear Gary, the agony of watching him deteriorate and suffer is over. But the void is real. You need time to grieve and heal. However, I have faith that you will meet some of the many people who developed a profound love for Terry, and that common bond of connected souls will make your spirit bounce once again and never let you feel alone. Terry opened up a new world of good people with hearts of gold of their own, and I know that by reaching out to them, as you have, they will reach back. Don’t worry about the future. That is probably one of the most precious lessons of Terry’s mission. You will find the path that you were destined to follow, perhaps one that you would never have found if God hadn’t brought an angel named Terry into your life.
Gary, it goes without saying, but if at some point you feel the need or desire to get away and would like to come down here, our arms are open.
I love you, Cousin.
Peace to you,