December 13th is the Sancta Lucia day in Sweden, when they celebrate the Queen of Lights. On that day, ten years ago, my precious firstborn went to be with God. Eva-Marie will forever remain my Queen of Lights.
The Queen of Lights, dressed in white with a crown of lights on her head, together with a party of attendants all dressed in white, get up bright and early and go caroling. Since it’s very cold and dark this time of the year in the northern countries, Lucia brings light and joy.
The above is a picture of Eva-Marie the year she was chosen as the Lucia at the Swedish boarding school she and her sister Carina attended in Bolivia. I’m so glad I have this picture to remind me of a joyful moment in her life, but most of all, as a reminder that she is now surrounded with light, in a world where there is no darkness, where God himself is the Light. God is Light and there is no darkness in Him!
I have a sweet memory of this day ten years ago. My daughter had struggled with cystic fibrosis since birth. Finally her body could not fight off the infections and pneumonia took over. The last days of her life she breathed with a ventilator, and we had to make the decision to take her off it.
Eva Marie was a Christian; she loved Jesus with all her heart. I knew that when the time came she would be escorted to Heaven by angels. I had mixed feelings when we decided to pull the plug on the ventilator. I didn’t want my girl to go but on the other hand I knew her suffering would be over. She would rest in the arms of Jesus.
It was a sacred moment when I told her, “It’s okay, Eva, go home to Jesus.” And she left us. Ten years, but it seems like yesterday we stood at her bed and read the words of the apostle Paul when he was at the end of his journey.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord,
the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me,
but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Tim 4:7-8).
For a Christian death is not a tragedy but triumph. “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints” (Ps 116:15). We miss our loved ones that go on before us but we cannot wish them back. I hope that at the end of my life, I can echo the words of Paul:
- I have fought the good fight
- I have finished the race
- I have kept the faith
This evening I’m hoping to do a slide-show for my grandchildren about their aunt Eva-Marie. She prayed so much for her sister to have a family. I hope she can look down from Heaven and see the answers to her prayers.
December 13th will forever be edged in my mind. It was not a “good-bye” but a “see you later”, on the day God calls me home.