You Can Live a Whole Life in Thirteen Years.

My calendar tells me that tomorrow is “Good Friday,” but I can tell you with certainty that nothing about it feels good. Just six days separate today and April 12th, the day that this precious girl left this earthly tent and breathed her first in the presence of her Savior.

My hands shake and my heart aches as I struggle to find the words to share with you today. I know I have them, yet I also know that nothing I write could ever do adequate justice to a live so well lived. I can’t make you feel the way it felt to be around Edy or accurately tell you just how many lives have been impacted by hers. All I can do is try to paint you a picture from my perspective and tell you how my life has been affected by Edythes’.

I’ll admit, growing up around Edy, I was nervous. Nervous that I might say the wrong things or do something that would compromise her already fragile state. I spent a lot of time looking at her, watching the way she would stare off into the distance, wondering what she was thinking about, if anything at all. My mind determined a lot of things about Edy before it even had the chance to know her. But over the years, I’d see the way she squealed with laughter when someone told an inappropriate joke, or cry when she knew someone would be going somewhere without her, and my preconceived thoughts about her began to slowly melt away. I realized that she’s a person – just like you and me – able to understand, form thoughts, respond, react, reciprocate, and feel. For Edy, a snow day was the worst day imaginable, and a stream of tears always proved the sadness she felt over a day away from her friends. Having four older brothers, she easily delighted in talk about various crude topics such as peeing, burping, and yes – farting. Yet despite the house full of boys she grew up in, Edy was as girly as can be with her love for tutus, nail polish, and all things that sparkle.

But it wasn’t just Edy’s nails and clothes that sparkled. Edy sparkled. If you looked into her eyes – I mean really looked into them – you’d see the beautiful amalgam of mischief and joy. Behind them were the thoughts that only she knew and never could express. And though she never spoke a single word, her life spoke volumes to the glory and wonder and majesty of her Creator.

Through my realization that Edy was a girl just like me, I also realized that she was nothing like me. I don’t mean because she couldn’t control her muscles or because she ate through a hole in her stomach and breathed through a hole in her throat. Edy was different because she was pure. She was untainted by this world. On her face was never a hint of disapproval, never a trace of judgment. Just joy. Just love. Edy didn’t see people’s flaws, she just saw someone that could use a smile. And smile she did…every single day of her thirteen years. She never took life too seriously. She could laugh at herself and at Louis when he would tell her that she was broken and needed batteries. She was put on this earth for the same purpose that the rest of us were: to glorify the Lord. And she did just that without ever saying a single word.

How amazing. How ironic. That the very bodies and voices and hands we take for granted, she didn’t even have to use to accomplish God’s purpose for her life.

I want to be like Edythe.

I could say that little girl was like a sister to me, but it wouldn’t be true. She was a sister to me, and I loved her like I do my biological ones. Perhaps even more intense than the grief I feel, is the pain of watching her family, the people I love the very most, suffer through the loss of a granddaughter, a daughter, a sister, a niece, and a cousin. Death is so hard to deal with. All you want to do is fix things and make them better, but there’s nothing to do. No amount of regret, anger or tears can reverse what is permanent.

So here we sit. Helpless and hurting, but certainly not hopeless. I don’t ask why, because I know Jesus. I trust Him and I trust His plan. There was grace even in the timing of such a tragedy in that Edy went to heaven just a week shy of Easter – a day that reminds us of the hope of Heaven. Because He conquered the grave, death has been defeated, sin has been crushed, and one day we will have eyes that see how He’s woven these agonizing moments into the tapestry of our lives and used them for our good.

But until then, we rejoice that though our hearts are empty, so is the tomb. The grave that held the body of Jesus Christ, bruised and beaten for our salvation, is empty because Jesus is risen. Because Jesus is alive, so is Edy, and though our hearts are shattered, she has been made whole.

Even though I was always gazing down to see Edy, there is no one whose life I admire more, and she is someone I truly look up to. She has taught me so much about the love of Jesus and how to love others, but most of all, she’s shown me that a whole life is not measured by accolades or accomplishments. A whole life isn’t about what place you finished, where you graduated, or how much money you made. A whole life isn’t about the amount of years you walk this earth; it’s not even about being able to walk this earth. A whole life is one spent loving Jesus and loving others. A whole life is about what you make of your years, regardless of how short and hard they may be. Edy showed me that you can live a whole life with just thirteen of them.

I sure do love that girl, but I know Jesus loves her more, and she experienced the fullness of that love when she ran(!) straight into His arms. I am giddy in knowing that she’s breathing through her nose, and tasting the yummiest of foods, and dancing and laughing and making new friends. I wonder if she’s gone swimming and how she’s decorated that room of hers in her Father’s house. I hope she’s playing with my brother and I hope there’s lots of glitter. I wonder what a peach tastes like in that Homeland. I wonder how it feels to sing praise all day long. While these things I wonder, this I know: she’s perfect, she’s redeemed, and she’s standing in the light of Glory – the only thing brighter than that great, big smile of hers.

 Thank you Jesus, for letting us borrow your little girl for 13 wonderful years.

 Tomorrow will be a good Friday…because He is a good Father.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” – Matthew 5:8

{Please continue to keep the Metzinger family in your prayers}