It's been a hard week. It's actually been a tough year already. I've been overwhelmed at the fact I had three very ill friends, now I have two. One has been permanently healed by our great and marvelous God. I met Angela Cox very soon after I moved to Kentucky in 1999. She was always smiling, always cracking a joke and just such a welcoming person. She was the first one to invite me into the group. The group would end up playing cards, ringing in several New Years together, and just generally having fun together. Slowly the group members began to get married and our single days morphed into lives with spouses and children. Angela got a job with Ernie Fletcher and that took her to Frankfort, where she blessed so many other lives with her spirit and her voice. She loved her family and all her friends and it just overflowed from her. Whenever I was in Frankfort, I'd go to her office and just catch up and laugh more. She was truly a good friend to anyone who allowed her the opportunity to be in their lives.
I remember the day I heard she'd been burned in her house fire. I was so heartbroken. No one deserves to go through something like, much less Angela! I couldn't bring myself to go to the hospital for several days. I don't know what I was so afraid of, the way she might look, that she might die and I would only remember her that way, that I wouldn't know what to say to her ...to her family...whatever it was, it kept me away. I finally felt compelled to go and then I went several times a week. I talked to her and read her scripture, not knowing if she could even hear me. But then one day a message went out that she was awake...it was Feb. 8. Before that she had responded to things we said by trying to open her eyes, moving her toes, etc. But this message said she was awake and aware of her surroundings. I was supposed to get on a plane for Dallas on Feb. 9, but I just had to go see her before I checked in at the airport. I'm so glad I did. I put on all the garb you have to wear in the burn unit...the plastic gown, the gloves, the hand sanitizer. The nurse was in the room talking to her and giving her meds and she told Angela she had a visitor that she would probably recognize.
I walked in and her eyes met mine and she mouthed my name and sort of shook her head in excitement. It was so good to see my friend recognize me and say my name. I wanted to hug her, but I couldn't risk touching her and passing any kind of germs no matter how small. I stood by her bed and told her how happy I was to see her awake. The nurse talked about how great she was doing and even talked about starting some rehab in the next two weeks. I didn't stay long, but as I was leaving I told her how much I loved her and she mouthed back that she loved me too. I'm so grateful for that morning; so grateful that I had that chance. I didn't know then that those would be the last words I heard from her in this life.
As Angela's body began giving up the fight against the burns that covered more than half of her body, I began to lose my positive outlook about her survival. I just can't process any of it and I cannot understand how a loving God would let her suffer for two months when he had already planned to take her. I know there is a much higher plan to it all, but I just don't see it. Sharon Berry was very comforting to me last night when I was asking these very same questions. She said that perhaps God was using her during these two months to show the doctors, nurses and so many others the faithfullness of her life and of her family and friends who stood watch by her side during the whole ordeal. Maybe someone saw Christ through all it and as a result their life is changed forever because of Angela's life. We'll never truly know the answers to all of these questions until we see her again and even then, will we still have questions? I don't think so; I think we will be too consumed in enjoying eternity to even let these things cross our minds.
I love her, I miss her - someday I WILL see her again.