” Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NASB)


I saw a car drive past me on the interstate today.  It reminded me of the car driven by my friend Ann.  But Ann was not in this car.


Ann is older than me.  She is my impromptu friend.  I can call her anytime, day or night, and she is always up for an adventure.


Ann is the one I call when I wander down country roads to take pictures.


“If I come up missing, Ann, you know where to start looking!” I laugh, as I check in with her.


One day, Ann called and asked if I would take her to the medical center two hours north of home.  Ann had been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, and quietly began treatment.  As other found out about her illness, we took turns taking her for treatment, treasuring each trip with her.


If making up your mind to get well, was all it took to get well, by sheer determination, Ann would have gotten better.


The day before she died I was by her side, she was heavily sedated.  I leaned in close, and whispered to her:


“You are going to get to heaven first; so, save me a seat right next to you.”


And I kissed my friend on her forehead, and said, goodbye.  I think she heard me.


There was only a graveside service that day. But, Ann’s funeral was a fiasco that movies are made of. In the middle of a shady green garden, we returned the body of my friend to the earth. Vines of ivy ran up the old oak trees, whose branches were heavy laden with Spanish Moss.


Someone accidently got into some Ivy that was poisonous.  By shaking hands, and hugging, transferred the poison to the majority of guests. We only discovered this the next day, of course!


Her mother was very ill, the day of the funeral, and could not get out of the car. So someone had the idea of driving her, in the car, to the graveside…and drove the car… over all the graves… that were between the street and Ann’s grave!  We all stood looking with out mouths hanging wide open!


As the funeral ended, we could all hear what sounded like a music box in the distance; and the sound grew louder.


Topping the hill and winding down the path to the gravesite, was an ice cream truck!


Those who were to shovel in the moist earth, stopped their shoveling, and purchased ice cream; and, sat on the mound of dirt and, shoveled ice cream into their mouth!


I don’t think I have ever been to a funeral, where I left laughing.  Oh, how Ann would have loved her funeral!  She and I would have laughed ourselves silly. We would have eaten ice cream as well, and proclaimed, “I want ice cream at my funeral!”


A few months after her funeral, I was driving down the road, and saw a car very much like Ann’s passing me on the interstate.  I smiled, and remembered telling her, to save me a seat next to her in heaven.


As the car passed, I look at the tag on the car.  It said, “IM LIVN”.


I almost wreaked my car! I wish I had the presence of mind to get a picture of the tag.


I think that God had heard my grieving heart, and arranged for me to be encouraged that day.


What do you think?  Was that a message from God to encourage me, or just a coincidence?






Last Weeks Winner of the Day Spring Bag is Carmen, who has already been notified! Congratulations Carmen.  This week I will choose someone from the comments for the week and they will win Nancy Leigh DeMoss book Choosing Gratitude!  Leave a comment to be eligible to win!




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Diane W. Bailey is the founder of The Consilium – an online community of wisdom and purpose for women over 45 years of age. She is a published author. Her books include String of Pearls – From Tears to Treasure, and 30 Days To A Better Stepfamily. She creates her own line of precious metals bracelets. Diane lives in the Deep South with her husband Doc. Together they have created a stepfamily, each having two stepchildren and two birth children, and share three grandchildren, one black lab named Charlie and one long haired tabby cat named Lil Girl. Diane’s passion is to encourage women to be all God has created them to be by pressing past fear and daring to live life as an adventure. Some of her life adventures include traveling to Israel, speaking, entrepreneurship and backyard farming with Doc. She loves Gumbo, fried shrimp and seeing all sunsets across water.

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