Born a First
As an 8 year old It seemed like forever waiting for the special baby that would officially make me "Aunt Carol." When the call came that my first niece had finally arrived I couldn't wait to get to her. I vividly remember the day my parents drove my younger brother and I to my sister's house. I walked straight to the white, wicker bassinet to see the little piece of creation that would become the first for many.
Tamara was soon shortened to "Tami" as she was affectionately called by most of her family and friends. She was full of life and very little of her antics and accomplishments went unnoticed as she was the firstborn, the first grandchild, and the first niece. Tami proudly bore the title of "first". In fact, I would say she loved being the first. Her only sibling, Chad, was born ten years later. Chad would probably say she had an identity crisis and perceived herself to be more of a mom than a sister to him. All of the cousins that followed her birth were quite aware of Tami and the tabs that she kept on them. Although they were annoyed from time to time at being caught and called out, I have no doubt they felt loved, cherished and knew that Tami had their backs.
Tami graduated from high school and left for Indiana Bible College. After becoming a college graduate she came home, fell in love and got married. The night before her wedding she injured her leg which signified the beginning of her journey with the disease of Lupus. This horrific disease left very little of Tami's body untouched. However, it never stopped her song or her smile. She loved to sing and she blessed many with her beautiful voice. Even when her body was so racked with pain, she ministered without complaint.
The doctors delivered the painful news that she would never be able to have children. This rocked her world as she so desperately wanted to become a mom. This did not stop her. She proceeded on to research every way, within their budget, to have a child. Tami and David became licensed foster parents and over time became parents to four precious children. Her song was not silenced, her joy was not extinguished and her dream became reality. She teamed up with Jesus and kept on this journey that seemed so unfair to all of us watching and praying.
On Sunday morning, three years ago today, I was on the platform of Turnpoint Church leading in worship with our worship team. As I went to my seat, I looked at my phone and my heart began racing as I read the text that Tami needed prayer ASAP. I ran out of the church and began grabbing people to pray with me. I must confess, I went from praying to begging God in a quick hurry. However, within about 15 minutes I received a simple text of just two words, "She's gone."
Tami who was the first in so much had one more 'first" that she brought to us by her death. I honor her today for being the brave young lady that she was. I do not know if I have ever met someone who has lived with more physical and mental pain as my sweet niece, yet I can honestly say that I never heard one complaint. To my knowledge she was never asked to sing that she did not muster the strength to do so. In fact, one of the final services she sang in she physically could not make it onto the platform so a cordless microphone was brought to her and her song went on.
Today, I request your prayers for my sister and her family as well as these four precious children that miss their mama so much. There is no answer to give to the question that continues to haunt them, yet they still believe.