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For My Sister Cheryl, in Memory

Wherever a beautiful soul has been, there is a trail of beautiful memories.

When someone you love becomes a memory, their memory becomes your treasure.


They say memories are golden
Well maybe that's true
But we never wanted memories
We only wanted you.

A million times we've needed you
A million times we've cried
If love alone could have saved you
You never would have died.

In life we loved you dearly
In death we love you still
In our hearts you hold a special place
No one could ever fill.

If tears could build a staircase
And heartache build a lane
We'd walk the path to heaven
And bring you back again.

Our family chain is broken
And nothing seems the same
But as God calls us one by one
The chain will link again.

A Mother's Prayer

As Read at Cheryl's Memorial Service

Dear Lord,

I thank you for giving us six loving children, but today we are here to remember our youngest, Cheryl. I want to remember her as I saw her last. She was so tan, looked so healthy, and she was happy. She had come home to help celebrate my 75th birthday.

I want to remember her accomplishments, which were many. But most of all I want to remember her gentle nature and the softness of her voice. She was so gentle and tender. Words of someone hurting would bring tears to her eyes. She loved animals, and she felt their pain when they hurt. Her two German Shepherds, Max and Jessie, were her family in Florida.

I want to remember her kindness and her generosity. She felt pain for the homeless. She talked to me about the homeless people she would see in Newark as she would be going to classes at NJIT. She would give them money (which may not have been the best thing to do---maybe food would have been better) , but she couldn’t pass them by.

I want to remember the joy she and her teammates felt when she pitched the Colonia High School softball team to its first ever County championship, and repeated it again the following year.

And, I want to remember the feel of her arms around me, and in that soft voice telling me "you’re the best Mom in the world.”

What I feel the most pride in is the fact that she made a difference in someone’s life. At the end of her senior year in Colonia High School, a vice principal told me how happy they were to have had Cheryl there for three years . She said Cheryl brought a lot of good publicity to the school with her athletic, academic and leadership qualities. She also told me that she felt that Cheryl’s influence had kept two of her teammates from getting into serious drug problems.

Cheryl could do so many things and do them well, but she was a perfectionist. She didn’t think others should be perfect, but she expected that in herself. She always thought she could do better than she had done. With all the things she was able to do in her 39 years, we now know how fragile she was.

This was our Cheryl.

Lord Jesus, as we are left with so many memories of Cheryl, we ask you to take hold of our hands and lead us through this sorrow.

You once called yourself the light of the world. You know how much we are hurting, so please be our light in the darkness. Help us to know that there will be brighter days ahead and that morning always follows the darkest night.

Thank you that we can take refuge in the shadow of your wings and find comfort from the storms of life.

Give us strength and courage to greet each new day with hope in our hearts. Lord, heal our broken hearts, and keep us close to you. Help us to find comfort and peace in your unfailing love.

My earnest prayer is for those who suffer from depression and can’t find any joy in living. Please take away their fears and their pain and their sadness. Let them know blessed peace within their hearts and souls.

Cheryl -- we miss you and love you dearly.


Pennies From Heaven

I found a penny today
Just laying on the ground
But it's not just a penny
This little coin I've found

Found pennies come from heaven
That's what my Grandpa told me
He said Angels toss them down
Oh, how I loved that story

He said when an Angel misses you
They toss a penny down
Sometimes just to cheer you up
And take away your frown

So don't pass by that penny
When you're feeling blue
It may be a penny from heaven
That an angel has tossed to you.

A loved one is not gone until they are forgotten.  Cheryl, I will remember you. . .

For  Cheryl, my lost sister,  may your spirit soar!