In some ways, this is a hard post to write.
In other ways, it’s such a blessing.
It’s long, so choose now to read or not!
In the fall of 1979, we sent out oldest daughter, Tammy, off to college. Not such a big deal to some, but for us it was huge. This daughter was in a wheelchair, and had to sleep with a respirator at night to keep her CO2 level from building to the point she would quit breathing. PLUS–the college was 1500 miles away in Portland, Oregon.
But you see, this daughter had prayed, sent feelers to different Christian colleges, and constantly reminded us that she was safer that far from home if it was God’s will for her, than to stay close to home and play it safe.
Bob and I drove those miles first. I suppose, in a way, to confirm in our own hearts that this idea was ridiculous. But God had prepared the way–and why were we so surprised? The school, known then as Multnomah School of the Bible, had at one time been a school for the blind. Thus, ramps everywhere. And because the school was approved by the VA, where there weren’t already ramps, they were being built. Add to that the fact they gave her a scholarship, and allowed for her very good friend Bonnie to accompany her. We paid room and board for Bonnie, and the school allowed her to audit all classes free of charge.
It was a great year for Tammy, perhaps one of her healthiest years after so many health crises. Tammy stayed home that next year after being promised by a doctor that the incurable neuromuscular disease that both she and her younger sister, Lori, had, may not be that at all–and there was hope and promises and more promises than never came to fruition.
I won’t go into a great lot of detail, only to relay this information. Our Lori died in 1985. She was 23 years old. And Tammy died in 1994, at age 34. Words can’t describe how much we miss them. So I won’t even try.
Fast forward to this past July, 2016:
Our youngest son and daughter-in-law and family traveled to Oregon for a family wedding. And while there attended the church of the relative they were visiting. To make an even longer story short–the pastor of this very church had also attended Multnomah School of the Bible, and remembered our Tammy. In fact, had often helped her in various ways.
There is something incredibly comforting to know your child is remembered when they are no longer on this earth. Parents don’t forget. Siblings don’t forget. Even good friends still remember. But to realize that someone from so long ago, so many miles away—plus the fact their paths never crossed again after that year—still remembers, is a balm to hearts that still miss her so very much.
Pastor Jim Jamison, I have no idea if you will ever see this, but thank you so very much for sharing the article and pictures, and most of all for sharing your heart with Tammy’s brother.