Friday, September 22, 2023

Speaking in the Light 3.8.2006

By Rick Racela

As I write my article today, I have just returned from Florida where I was spending some tender time with my sister Mary Frances, whose husband Dan, graduated to glory this Feb. 24 at the age of only 48 years old.
 Dan not only left behind a wonderful wife whom I think the world of, but also four beautiful daughters ranging in age from seven to 22, and a young adopted son.
 The two of them just celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary in January and in a day where wedding vows are paid attention to and honored with about as much respect as flight attendants get from the people who pretend to be listening to their pre-flight safety instructions, Mary Frances and Dan displayed a refreshing real love for one another and sacrificial commitment to one another until the very end.
My brother-in-law Dan has battled a disease called scleroderma for over 20 years.
 Doctors gave him only weeks to live way back in the early 1980’s.  Dan defied the medical odds and with an easy going temperament that I can only admire from a distance, and a practical every day faith that never let go of the God who Dan trusted never let go of him – he journeyed into territory that can only be labeled as miraculous.
 What was even more awesome than the days that Dan lived was the way that he chose to live them.  He could have been bitter.  He could have been miserable.  He had every physical reason to whine and complain.   Dan lived in pain that we only knew he had because his body showed what his heart would never let on to – that this sickness was taking a horrible toll on the man who while he was ready for heaven – hated to leave his wife and children behind with so much of life left to be lived. 
Even though for many a year, the two of them could not do what most couples would enjoy doing together, my sister and brother-in-law were very much in love with one another.  And love is not only roses and moonlight.  It is promises kept to stay with one another through the sickness and serve one another in times that turn out to be more circumstantially “worse” than better.
 I had the privilege to read some of Dan’s journals and he would talk about the day he met my big brown-eyed sister with such a contagious enthusiasm that you would have swore it happened just yesterday.
 He called the day that they got married one of the happiest moments of his life.  And even though much of their married life was spent dealing with the obstacles and debris that this sickness brought their way, their connection to each other did not get weaker as the days rolled by.  It got stronger every day.
My sister loved this man with all of her heart and called him her rock and source of faith.  While she did most of the talking for the both of them, she credited Dan with helping her have a voice and giving her something credible to say.
 It was such a poignant moment when she spoke to me yesterday of the loneliness that now at 43 labels her a “widow,” because you could see in her eyes that she had lost her best friend and I thought to myself, “Forget what we see on movies and television.  The world needs to see that this is the way that God designed love to be.”
I want to share with you the song that I wrote for Dan and Mary Frances on the day they got married.
 I challenge those of you that are married today to consider the words and maybe rather than taking one another for granted, maybe the time would be better spent taking each other into each others’ arms and looking into each others’ eyes and cherish the moment and hold on to the precious gift that God gave you when He said that it was not good for man to be alone.
And please say a prayer for my sister Mary Frances and her family.  She is an incredible woman whom I respect and admire with all of my heart and I am proud to be her older brother.
Share your love…in honor of Dan and Mary Frances
Well the love that’s in your heart, it is felt throughout this place
You can see it when you smile, it is right there on your face
I’ve got to tell you something that I want you both to know
I am praying for you that your brand new love will grow…
If you share your love in all you say and do
And don’t forget the Lord because you know He’ll see you through
And those sometimes when you’re down and your hope seems out of sight
Just share your love and everything will be alright…
Now that the vows are said, promises to last a life
And here you stand in love, a new husband and his wife
A new road’s beginning and the future’s looking bright
Just keep your eyes on Jesus, keep your eyes upon His light…
And just share your love, in all you say and do
And don’t forget the Lord because you know He’ll see you through
And though sometimes when you’re down and your hope seems out of sight
Just share your love and everything will be alright…
Look up at the heavens kids and just believe I am
If you promise to seek Me first, you will never doubt, no, never doubt I can,
Yes I can…
And because God is, so Dan will forever be and because He is I am-Mary Frances and all of us left here on earth will still know and experience real life in the midst of the shadow of the valley of death because we aren’t left empty handed.
We still have His love in our hearts to share with one another. 
“See you soon, Dan- and thanks for your godly example…” 
 The Lighthouse Church meets at Elementary School No. 2 in Court House with Sunday Services at 9 and 10:30 a.m.  Call 465-6690 for more information. 

Read More

Spout Off

Cape May – I can't believe that this morning, I read a spout from someone that was defending being "WOKE" and that they appeared to be very proud of that statement. OMG, do your homework and pull…

Read More

Cape May – Meow. Me and my feral cat buddies saw your post asking us to stop pooing in your gardens. Appreciate you think we can read. I've talked it over with my pals and we decided, meow, meow, mew, mew…

Read More

North Cape May – “Do not fear your enemy,for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your HONOR.” (Mark Twain)

Tells you something about Democrats…

Read More

Most Read

Print Edition

Recommended Articles