Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Family We Choose

 Last Weekend
If you are blessed, God provides you a family that you are born to. This family loves you, raises you, and teaches you how to be the person you become. If you are super blessed, God places people in your path who become your family without a shared blood connection. This family also loves you, grows with you, and shows you how to be the person you become.

Jaimee and Sarah that fateful birthday.
More than ten years ago, God placed a woman in my life who taught me this is the best kind of family...MySarah. We worked with one another at SuperPages and had friends in common. I think we truly became attached to one another when Sarah insisted, because my beau at the time had dumped me on my birthday, she would throw me a proper birthday celebration. I was blown away by her selfless joy and latched onto her as my soul sister. We soon became like peanut butter and jelly, not one without the other.

Sarah on her first trip to Texarkana
Daddy, Gayla and I took her to Milwood Lake in AR
and showed her her first live alligator.
I also soon discovered how MySarah's heart had grown so big when she introduced me to her first family. Her AuntBecky and UncleWendall became my AuntBecky and UncleWendall. Her sisters became my sisters. And in turn, I shared MyGayla and MyParents with Sar. Over the years we have grown our families ten fold.

In March, when we all lost Gayla, Sarah was the first person I called. Before I could dial her number though, I stood behind my parent's home and lost my dinner in anxiety of making this call. I knew I wasn't the only one who had lost our sweet sister, and didn't want to tell anyone because that would make it real. I still regret that I had to break Sarah's loving heart over the telephone and will never be able to take that back. In true Sarah generosity, she continues to tell me that there was no way around it.

Sarah and I became like a solid mountain together. She held me up when I couldn't stand, and I propped her up when she wanted to crumble. We melted into one another when neither of us gave a hoot. Although she is not my only hero, I can honestly say I would not have survived without her these last few months. Within hours we were working as a team to take care of the business of death. Within days her family was with me and mine taking care of needs we didn't even know we had. Without saying as much, Sarah and I had an agreement that if the phone rang or the text sounded, we took that call immediately no matter the time of day. Even today, MySarah never seems to tire of my weakness. She continues to tell me all the things I need to hear and support me when I cannot stand. I often wonder what I did right to deserve such an amazing woman in my life.

Rebekah Irene Gray
Beloved Sister
True to Sarah form, last night when she informed me about her younger sister Becky's passing, Sarah was concerned more about my hurt than her own. I will never understand the capacity of her heart but only sit in amazement and wonder forever. True to Jaimee form, I immediately started planning out what my family and I will do to help our dear Sarah and her family through this horrific time. I pray I am even half the woman Sarah is so that she knows how she has helped me to grow. I also beg God to make me the friend and sister that Sarah deserves.

Rest in Sweet Peace, Rebekah Irene Gray. You are loved and missed.

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18(NIV)


  1. Lovely post Jaimee; friends that fill your heart are a wonderful thing.

  2. You are so fortunate to have such an awesome friend! And I'm sorry for your loss. x

  3. How dreadful! For you both to lose a sister. I am so glad you have each other. Thanks for Rewinding x

  4. I'm sorry for your loss, for both of you. Found you at the rewind.

  5. A beautiful post - and a heart-breaking post. You have an amazing, extended family. My sympathy to all of you.

    Visiting via the Rewind.

  6. How fortunate you are to have each other, especially during terrible times like this.

  7. Such beautiful memories of such beautiful women.

    So sad.

    Thank you for sharing this and linking up via the Weekend Rewind.