I post this tonight with both a heavy and yet grateful heart. At 6:22pm (Colorado time) Karlena Marie Cahalan went to be with Jesus. My heart aches right now for her husband and son, parents and parent's-in-law and the entire extended family of those who loved and appreciated her.
I know that the sadness I am feeling right now is for my loss because when I think about where she is right now I am so grateful that she is in Heaven. No more labored breaths, no more pain in her legs....tonight she dances with angels and praises God in person!
I knew that eventually this time would come. I really didn't think it would come before she had a chance to meet our daughter - her namesake. She sent me an e-mail just last week asking for photos of the boys and an updated "belly" shot. She said that they planned to come to visit her mom in SF at Christmas time and would stay "until she got to hold baby Karlena twice".
This weekend Dominic asked me how she was doing and I shared that with him and we both laughed because we knew just what she meant when she said it. She was so excited about meeting her...even Kerry her husband said this took him by surprise because he was sure we had until after January....that just meeting Karlena was keeping her going.
We just don't know the time or the place do we? Even if we have everything to live for here on earth - we don't know when our time will be. I have said it before but I must say it again today.
Karlena was ready. Not ready to die because she was done with the pain but ready because she was excited to meet her Maker. She KNEW with everything in her that on this day she would meet Jesus.
As I sit here right now my daughter is moving around inside my belly, reminding me that she is here - such a gift that she is. She holds a very special legacy just having Karlena's name. I haven't ever been able to find a baby name site that gives a meaning to the name Karlena. Various forms of the name...but not that one specifically.
It is unique - just like she was. Today I give the name Karlena my own meaning. It is something that I will pass along to my daughter when she is old enough to understand.
Follower of Christ
Karlena's strength, her character, her love for God will be instilled in my children. She wasn't here long enough as far as I am concerned. But she didn't waste any time being that Christ-like example to everyone around her. It is evident in the number of people from her community, her church that went out of their way time and time again to care for her and her family.
She inspired people to reach towards Christ like she did. Ever trusting what He had in store for them - even if it hurt this side of Heaven. I am forever changed for knowing and loving her. I miss her already and know that with the joy of the birth of our daughter will also come some sadness at her lost presence.
Karlena, I know that you said "NO CRYING" and I can hear your voice as I type the words. Tonight my tears are for me...I am going to be a little bit selfish just this once. You and I both know that this is not goodbye....just see you someday soon. Until that time comes for me....save a place for me at the banquet table because I know that tonight you are feasting with God.
I love you....