She was a woman bent over from years of living. Her white hair framed a round face; twinkling sharp eyes looked deep within when she spoke to you. When she would pray often she would cry as she would hold your hand and cry out to the Lord she loved for the answers she sought. To her no one was unimportant. And she carried the one attribute that very few hold dear in their lives…she deeply loved the person she was talking with and wanted to know all about them and how she could help them know her Savior’s love.
On my way to celebrate my friend Bonnie’s granddaughter’s First Communion last week I received a text from our pastor: “Kathy, Susan Dooley died this morning.” Everything stopped..I just plopped down on the couch and sobbed. She could not be gone…I knew she was 94, not in good health and I wanted her to be with Jesus, but not yet. I needed to keep seeing her face, squeezing her hand, hearing her belly laughter, watching her pray. She had been my Bible teacher many years ago. All of the people I know who took her classes came away with more wisdom and love of the scriptures than they ever knew before.
She had two daughters and one son. She nursed her son until he died of cancer. Her daughter Marge and her husband Bud spent years helping take care of her and looking out for her every need. But she was also a spiritual Mom to so many of us..Bonnie and I in particular. I lost touch with her when she moved to Mississippi to help her son and I lost touch with her daughters Marge and Nancy. I missed her. There came a time in my life when the pain became so great I thought I might not make it. My Mom was sick and one of my daughters had suffered a breakdown. It seems like yesterday, my husband Ned and I were in San Diego helping our daughter when I got the call my Mom had fallen. She had help, I knew I needed to be there, but our daughter needed us more. While we were there Ned and I took an afternoon to tour the Midway, a World War II aircraft carrier. As we were climbing down the narrow stairs from one level to the next I began crying and pleading with God. “I can’t keep this up much longer Lord, I am in such a battle..I feel as if I am dying..please help me!” Immediately my cell phone rang and a voice I had not spoken to in two years said: “Kathy, this is Susan. I found your card in my Bible today and the Lord told me to call you and tell you not to give up. You are in a battle, but He will win the battle for you.” I have never forgotten that call as only God could have given Susan that message. The battle was won for God..our daughter is flourishing and my Mom eventually went home to be with Jesus in peace. Read the love chapter, I Corinthians 13 and you will know Susan. I love you kathy