… of God’s gifts and perfect timing … part five
The five days between Amanda’s passing and her memorial service were … surreal … painful … sad …tiring … yet peaceful … sweet … and full of comfort. So many people sent food and cards and offered such lovely sentiments that touched our hearts.
I found it particularly touching how Jillian’s classmates and teachers showed their support. When you are in school so far away on an island like Jillian was, it is challenging to go away and miss school. It is also a challenge to be so removed from family. Classmates become ‘family’ and support each other during sickness, strife, and even the passing of a loved one. While Jillian was up here in Michigan for Amanda’s memorial service, her island family showed their support by sending this picture with the caption: “In memory of Jillian VanderYacht’s sister Amanda, Black semester friends and professors wore purple to show our support! October 15th is now purple day in honor of Amanda’s favorite color! Miss you Jill!” Oh my, what a gift.
We wanted Amanda’s memorial service to be on Saturday but the church was already booked for the entire day with their annual fall craft show. We didn’t like Sunday for the event, so we went with Friday. We knew people who worked might not be able to get off of work to attend, but we figured there were probably people who couldn’t make it Saturday either for other reasons. So we went with Friday.
With having three daughters, Ted and I always dreamed and planned for three weddings. We had two lovely weddings, one each for Kristen and Jillian (and gained two marvelous son-in-laws I may add) but always felt bad that there probably wouldn’t be a wedding for Amanda. In a way, I felt like her memorial service was HER special day … not quite a wedding day … but similar. We picked special music for her service. There were programs. I even had a bouquet for Amanda. For the service we placed her wheelchair in the front of the church with her bouquet of white and purple flowers on it. There were ribbons and sparkly things in the flowers, too; a perfect bridal bouquet for Amanda. And Amanda filled the church – probably with more guests than either of her sisters had at their weddings! Following the ceremony, there was a luncheon – her reception.
It was a party for YOU, Amanda. YOUR special church service with flowers and food and a church filled with guests who all loved you. I guess heaven called you home so Jesus could be your partner in your wedding dance.
We did a balloon ascension following Amanda’s memorial service. It was significant as there was a great story involving Amanda and a previous balloon ascension. (Why do you think there is a BALLOON on the cover of my book, Amanda, Perfectly Made??) So we had to do one again for Amanda.
There was so much love and support that week after Amanda died. There were so many good stories from people who knew and loved her.
And the gifts and blessing from God continued.
Where did one of those balloons land?
And who else did we hear from with stories of Amanda?
… to be continued …