Almost a year ago, I shared a blog on a day of rejoicing when I ran the Run at the Mill 10K sponsored by Run for God. I was thankful that day to have my dear friend Doug Todd back running again after heart surgery, my sweet friend Vicki Callahan home after a grueling year going through a bone marrow transplant, and the engagement of our son Adam to his girlfriend Jess.
Vicki’s long struggle ended this week when she joined her husband and other loved ones in heaven. I am happy for her, but my heart is full for her family and for myself.
I got to know Vicki in Sunday School class several years ago when she moved to Calhoun to be near her only son Craig, his wife Angela and her two grandsons. Her husband had passed away and she was grieving, and at the time I first met her the pain was especially raw. I think that as a Christian, she was surprised at how deep the pain was, but she always had a smile and a kind word. She bore her sorrow with dignity and was the most “graceful” person I knew.
I felt a kinship to her because we were both mothers of sons, a special bond that is different from mothers of daughters. She often commented on how wonderful Craig and Angela had been to her and how much she appreciated her daughter in law. She had the type of close relationship I hope I will have in the years to come. Her life revolved around her grandsons and she was able to see them grow into fine young men. Their love for her was evident also.
Vicki quickly became friends with the group of ladies in my church who are our “core” – the true women of God who are the workers and heart of everything that goes on. When she was hospitalized for weeks at a time in Atlanta during her bone marrow transplant and subsequent treatments, they rallied and organized and took turns staying with her and doing all they could to make her comfortable. I pray that if I ever have to move away from Calhoun, I will find a group of friends as devoted to me as these ladies were to Vicki!
In the last card I sent her, I tried to think of a Bible verse that captured how I felt, and I wrote her this from Philippians 1:
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Vicki’s work was completed and she has moved on to her new glorious life. I am blessed to have known her and I will think of her often as I travel through the seasons of my life, hoping to be in some small way the woman of God that she modeled so well.