I just got a phone call from Joe that saddens me. The choir in Heaven is preparing room to add another voice.
The lady who directed the choir for many years in the parish where I grew up, Rita S, is gravely ill. It's been known for some months now that all the doctors were still able to do would be to make her as comfortable as possible. At that point, she set her sights on remaining with us to see her grandson graduate from college, which he did last May.
As a bonus, the Lord let her stay with us a while longer, so that she could celebrate her 89th birthday a few weeks ago.
Joe just spoke with her family, and according to the doctors, "it's a matter of hours now". And I'm sad to hear it.
Not sad for HER, exactly -- I know from what Joe told me that she's ready to go to the Lord. She's also one of the people of whom it can be said, "If SHE doesn't make it into Heaven, the rest of us have no chance at getting in". I am certainly sad that a good person like her would ever have to suffer with serious illness. But I know that when her time comes, she'll be at peace and rejoin her late husband, another person who was highly regarded by all who met him in life, and has been greatly missed since his passing.
But I sure am sad for the REST of us. This world can use as many truly good people in it as the good Lord can send. When one leaves us, it's like the world shrinks a bit.
But Heaven will soon expand, as will its choir, when its newest citizen makes her arrival. Of these things, I have absolutely no doubt.