On July 16, 2016, I am going to take care of one of the hardest things that I have ever had to take care of. My family and I will be in the Rio Grande Valley to take my twin sister’s ashes and spread them on South Padre Island. My Denise wanted me to take her to a beach one last time. She loved the ocean. She loved to travel. She loved her family. She loved swimming in the Gulf. I remember that she would be stuck to my dad as he went as far as the third sand bar with her. She loved to be in the sun. She loved to collect sea shells. She loved to walk in the sand. She loved to be with friends. She loved to eat good food. She loved Dr. Pepper. She loved the Baylor Bears. She loved life.
Now, more than ever before, she is living life beyond anything that we can even imagine. She is in Heaven with Jesus Christ before Him with all the saints that have gone before. She is there enjoying every color imaginable, every facet of “the way, the truth, and the life.”
Although I miss her dearly, I know that this is something that I have to do. My family and I are not necessarily looking forward to July 16, 2016, but we know that we will be together again with Denise in Heaven because we all have trusted Jesus Christ unto salvation. His promise of eternal life together with Him and with all the saints who have gone before is something we hold to by faith. And although this may be tough, we know that Denise would have wanted us to be together for this time. I know that she would want us to be together.
When she was at home for the last month of her life and my parents and brothers and sister were all in her house, I would look over at her and I would see her grinning. She would be quietly listening to all the conversations (the Gorenas all know how to be a part of different conversations all at the same time). She would be grinning because she was seeing and hearing what she longed for: she wanted “the family” to be together again. She brought us all back together even in her illness. She strived to bring people together. She did a good job of it as well.
Do I wish we would have been together under different circumstances? Why sure I do! But it was not meant to be under any other circumstance. We were there because we believe that God allowed us to be there together with my Denise. It was so hard to see my twin sister in that state, but it was well worth the time that we were all able to spend with her. Each of us had our times alone with her and spoke with her and she with us. Then, when the pain was so hard on her little body and she was heavily sedated, we still had our individual times with her. Shedding tears, laughing, and just talking to her, loving her, and hoping the best for her. And even though we wanted her to stay with us, she is experiencing the best for her…for any of us! She is enjoying life like never before! In Heaven! With Jesus! With the saints!
I miss my twin sister. I’m having a hard time thinking about spreading her ashes. She has been with me all my life but it is time for me to let her go. It is time for us to let her go. She has already gone.
So where do we go from there? We live life. We love life. We love to be with family and friends. We love as Jesus Christ loves Denise and the way she loves Him. We go forward looking for the eternal living hope that we have in Jesus Christ. We will see her again. Her ashes are merely a remnant of who she was. She is glorified now! She is brighter than the sun! She is singing! She is dancing! She is praising! She is before her Lord and Savior! She is alive! She is living life! She is speaking with the saints! She is playing her flute! She is never sick! She never sheds a tear! She is never in any kind of pain!
She loves life!