Lizzie O’Donnell – asleep in the Lord

Jim O’Donnell and his wife have been on a life adventure the past 17 years as Lizzie has faced cancer, heart failure and other various health issues.  Today, she fell asleep in the Lord.  I am praying for Jim and the rest of rest of his family as they say good-bye and are already looking forward to seeing her again.

Jim has shared kind, loving words with Sara and I over the years as Sara and I have faced our own faith adventure through cancer.  He is a brother who has showed me how to live.  Here are his words today…

At 12:10 pm, today, January 17, 2011, age 58, in the 17th year of her heroic struggles against an array of life-threatening illnesses, my sweet Lizzie crossed the River of this Life to go to her eternal home. Her breathing had been labored all morning, but towards noon, it shallowed out, became slower, drifted into longer intervals, and finally stopped. Nick, Andrew, Mary (her sister), David (her brother), and I were all there at the moment of herpassage from this life to the next.

Like a beautiful and trusting child on her first day of school, I kissed her goodbye, watched her go up the stairs, and saw her enter the Gates of Splendor.

As I turned to go home, I think I could already hear her Heavenly Master saying, “Well done, Lizzie, good and faithful child! … you have been trustworthy … Come and share your master’s joy!”

Her end was quiet. Lizzie seemed peaceful and surrendered. She went into paradise as she had lived her life: full of courage, grace, and concern for others. Her passing leaves a gaping hole that not only will be hard to fill, but will be hard even to tend to fill.

May her life and the tender way in which she loved others cause us all to love better those God has given us.

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