Monday, March 1, 2010

Julie Mangrem

Tonight, I went to a memorial service for Julie Mangrem. She and Jess were diagnosed with cancer about the same time; Julie's was colon cancer. Every time Jess would see Julie, she would talk about Julie's smile and how she would light up a room even while battling cancer. Julie's smile was one of those things that kept getting brought up at the service and its effect on other people. It's also one of the things that people constantly brought up about Jess: her smile. It's pretty amazing because they knew their fate. One of the questions Jess always asked people when they told her that they knew someone with stage four cancer was "How are they doing now?" The answer was always that they had passed away. The question I get most often from my youngest daughter, Brynnie, is "Why did mommy have to get cancer and die?" I don't really have an answer for that. I know that Jess learned to live life to its fullest even while it was waning away, and her faith grew in God even as He chose not to heal her. I'm sure Julie's own two children, Addi and Major will ask their daddy, Mark, the same question. The answer at tonight's service was for God's greater glory. I don't know exactly how that works, but it was definitely a celebration service tonight. By the way I found out this week that Julie went to Jessica's funeral on her own birthday, and that she had to postpone a baby shower that was going to be on the same day. When I think of them both in heaven now, I imagine them with big light-up-the-room smiles laughing so hard that they are crying. Is that even possible if there are no tears in heaven? Check out the Mangrem's facepage 1 Thess 5:11 (pray without ceasing)


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. Yes, Jessica had a beautiful light up the room smile. We are all very fortunate that it was passed on to her three beautiful daughters. It will live on.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

When I look at pictures of Jessica's smile, I am just mesmerized. I find myself just staring into the eyes looking back at me from the page. Her smile did light up a room. It lit up hearts. It made frowns turn around. Her smile was a gift, one of so many gifts she gave. I miss her smile. It is comforting to know that she is still smiling for Jesus. I can hardly wait to see it again. Thank you for reminding us how much joy Jess spread to the world for the brief time God loaned her to us. May we use what she taught us for God's glory. I pray others see Jesus in me because Jessica showed Jesus to us.
Love you,