“Aunt” Vivian’s Spirit Transitioned Today
August 30, 2015
The spirit of another wonderful saint left this earth today at 1:57 p.m. My parents had just been there with her at her mission apartment home from 12:30-1:30 today and I had gone there with them yesterday to also say goodbye to her, as we’d heard she was failing fast. Both yesterday and today “Aunt” Vivian was not cognizant, but just a few days before she had been able to eat dinner at a friend’s apartment down the hall. All year “Aunt” Vivian has had the pain of cancer (which could not be treated), but nonetheless, she has been her jolly self, making people laugh and also caring for the plants throughout the building and planting flowers around the grounds.
“Aunt” Vivian was a Bible translator in the Philippines at the same time my parents were translating there too. She was always smiling and always cheerful, and even tonight when I emailed a childhood friend about her passing, my friend responded that she too remembers “Aunt” Vivian that way, and said it seemed that “Aunt” Vivian did not even know how to frown! I always thought “Aunt” Vivian looked very much like my mom’s mom who was always cheerful and smiley too, as well as incredibly nice, as was “Aunt” Vivian.
“Aunt” Vivian made it to 92 years old and her life was full of service to the Lord. As a single woman she translated the New Testament (and some of the Old, I believe) and brought the Gospel to a large and very responsive indigenous people group. My dad kept saying this weekend that many from that group will likely be helping to welcome her into Heaven and thanking her for her huge part in the blessed eternity they have been experiencing.
At 75 years of age, “Aunt” Vivian married for the first time. She married a widower who had also been in the mission, though in a different country, and when he got senile and sick, they moved to the mission center here and she cared for him with great patience, joy, and love until his death. Our family has felt very blessed to have her live nearby.
Well, definitely, we are sad about another very beloved saint passing away from our midst, but we are also all very much at peace, knowing her spirit is with the Lord. Yesterday I watched my dad bend over and hug her frail little body, and with misty eyes, he said, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” He was quoting Ps. 116:15. Today my mom quoted Ps. 23 to her, and another woman sang hymns to her. Truly “Aunt” Vivian’s friends have surrounded her all year with help, care, meals, and companionship so that she could finish her earthly days in her own home and among her mission family.
Death is not a pretty or easy thing. However, for those of us who know the Lord, walk with the Lord, and serve the Lord, death does usher us into the presence of our Savior and King –that Place where there is the absence of all that is painful or bad –forever after.
“Aunt” Vivian transitioned to that wonderful Place today.
P.S. Some photos:
On 3/21/14, my dad, my sister, and I visited “Aunt” Vivian at her apartment.
On 5/18/14 my dad, my husband, and I visited “Aunt” Vivian outside her apartment as she was gardening.