The previous post was the tribute I wrote and shared at Nora’s funeral service. There were 2 others who gave beautiful tributes and then the amazing eulogy. I want to share their words with those of you who were unable to be there. The first of the three is from Sarah, my dear sister.
I’m Sarah. I’m blessed beyond belief to say that I am Aleisa’s younger sister. I know I speak for our other siblings, Joe and Emily, when I say that she has been a pioneer on so many fronts, paving paths for us. She has been a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, a source of incredibly creative silliness, and most importantly, a vessel for sharing God’s Word and God’s Truth. The best advice I have EVER gotten came from her. In my time of despair begging her, “What should I do?!” She replied with a quote from Psalm 46, “Be still. Be still and know”. That, my friends, is powerful advice! She has the most gigantic heart anyone could ever imagine. Many of you may not know, but today is her birthday. Who on this earth could be so selfless to be accepting of an event such as this on her birthday?!
I know there is a lot of hype these days with the dislike of social media and the “put your phone down” activists, but look what such technology has allowed with Nora’s story! The sharing of hardships, happiness, tears and joy, not only quoting scripture but sharing with the world how a humble family applies it to real life!
My Mom shared “Today’s Word” from Joel Osteen with me yesterday and we thought it was worth sharing to describe exactly what I’m talking about:
The scripture is from 2Timothy, “Every scripture is God-breathed…so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Joel continues to say, “God has equipped you with everything you need to fulfill your destiny though His Word. The scripture tells us that as believers in Jesus Christ, we are anointed. The word “anointing is the power of God which gives you courage, strength and ability. When you put the Word of God in you, you are receiving that anointing, you are building your faith, and you are being equipped for every good work. The next time you start to wonder if you have what it takes, go to God’s Word and stir up your faith. Focus on His Truth which says you are well able to do what he has called you to do. You can accomplish your goals. You have the ideas, the creativity and the talent to be successful. You can overcome every obstacle! You’ve been armed with strength for every battle; the forces that are with you are greater than the forces that are against you and you are thoroughly equipped!”
Based on a quote from Matthew chapter 6, the Lyrics of one of my favorite songs goes, “Tweet tweet tweet way up high in the sky fly the little birds, without a care in the world, and how much more does the Father provide for the ones He loves?”
God does care about even the tiniest creatures, as tiny as a common house sparrow like the one that Aleisa nurtured as once a tiny featherless bird, who was named Ava and cared for & loved for 9 years…
Speaking of such care, the book of Matthew, chapter 25 says, “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness.’”
God saw Aleisa’s gentle and loving ways. He saw William’s strength and willingness to follow His plan. He carefully and purposely chose them to be Nora’s Mom and Dad. He knew they would accept this calling on their lives with love and understanding, even though they knew how difficult it would be.
I quote Aleisa as she has said without hesitation, “If we were asked to carry, care for and love a very special baby,,,but then we’d have to give her back after 2 years,,,we’d still do it.”
The amount of time spent on this earth matters very little. A man can live 90 years and never find God, know Him or accomplish His plan. Someone like Nora, on the other hand, only living on this earth for 2 years, has taught thousands of people the meaning of love, she brings people to the Lord and teaches us the fragile nature of life. That little girl loved her life! She loved her Mom and Dad, her brother Gavin and her sister Greta, her Kelly. She loved her baffs and her milkies she loved to squeal it out and let everyone know just how happy she was to be alive! She had such a strong and distinct personality…When you focus on all that somebody IS rather than what somebody ISN’T, beautiful things happen.
I was reading back in Aleisa’s blog. Pregnancy day 42, it says: “Dear Nora, As I write to you I’m resting in my bed reveling in your spritely flutters and wiggles. I think of your sweetest little cheeks, your tiny button nose and your beautiful little eyes. Those beautiful little eyes that I dream will one day soon look up at your Mommy and Daddy expecting nothing but love. We have an over abundance of love for you, sweet Nora, if only that were enough.”
But don’t we all see it now?! Love was enough! Love is enough! Love will always be enough!
NOT ONE of us in here can say that our lives aren’t better from having Nora in it. How can anyone doubt God’s words to our little modern day Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations”. Can you imagine her welcome into heaven?! I can hear the shouts of glory and victory: “Nora! You did it! You did it”!
Nora couldn’t have fulfilled the calling of her life without her parents love and stewardship. Without her parent’s unwavering faith in God’s plan.
Her little life’s works will continue to go on in so many ways. As I stood in the hospital room with them after Nora had passed away, William came back with the news that Nora was eligible to donate cartilage. I quickly prayed for the Holy Spirit to lead them to the right decision. Aleisa was very truthful in her words, “You know, people are always like, yeah yeah, organ donation….but when the decision comes down to your own child?!”
Seconds of silence went by, “This isn’t Nora anymore,” she said, “If we can help other children by donating her cartilage, I say we do it”. William quickly agreed and the decision was made. How bold. How selfless. How giving. What Love.
I know I speak for every person in this room when I say, thank you Nora, thank you Aleisa, thank you William.
Now let us today, not only honor the life of our precious angel Nora Rose who will be so painfully missed, but let us also honor the birthday of Aleisa, whose own birth and life allowed, embraced and cherished Nora’s beautiful life.
How lucky we are to have had something that makes saying goodbye so hard.