Heather is dying. Just a few more days is she likely to live. For the past four years, she has put up an astonishing fight against the lung disorder that is now taking her life. But in no way has she lost the battle.
Right this moment, she is surrounded by her family and dearest friends, spending her last precious hours wrapped up in their love.
This is victory.
This is triumph.
These holy moments are the prize of a life well-lived.
I knew Heather only during her high school years; her brother - who died of the same disease - and my first-born were close friends. I am not a hands-on player in her inner ring of support.
But I can pray for the courage, the fortitude, the glory of this tiny blond warrior woman.
So that is what I do.
Heather, you know better than most of us the heights and depths of His indescribable love and I pray that as your journey continues, you will feel eternally safe and secure in His arms.
Death is not a punishment but it is a great mystery. Still, I have a feeling that when you slip beyond its veil, you will feel closer to your loved ones than we earth-bound humans can imagine.
I pray that your love will continue to pour down on your husband and your children.
I pray that they will feel, in dreams and precious still moments, the living presence of your loving spirit forever.
I pray especially for your children.
I pray that the love you've given them in their short lives is exactly what they need from you.
I trust that your guidance and influence on their character will stay with them always.
You have done your best for them with the time you were given, and that is absolutely the most that any mother can do.
I pray for the joy of your broken body made whole in heaven.
I pray for the blessed relief you will feel when this agonizing battle has ended.
And I smile to think of your reunion with your brother and other loved ones who await you in eternity.
Sweet peace to you, Heather, as you close your eyes and prepare for what comes next.
You are a precious child of God, a daughter with whom He is most certainly well pleased.