Monday, May 14, 2007

Angel Entertained: Andrea Rusk

A good friend of mine passed away this last weekend. She worked with MK's...those with learning disabilities. She had a passion for the job, and took it very seriously. She would fight tooth and nail with anyone who disregarded or mistreated any of these kids, and she worked hard to educate those who worked with them. She didn't, however, take herself too seriously. She was always good for a laugh, and it was infectious. She was also a realist, like me. Whenever things seemed too serious, she had a way of putting them in perspective, and it lightened things up.

My daughter and I were sitting and crying last weekend after we heard the news. We were taking in the shock of someone dying in their prime, and just the fact that she is no longer here. But suddenly, we were struck with her realistic nature and we started thinking about what she would be saying to us right now. Over the past few days I've imagined the following scenerio:

Andrea comes to, her eyes slowly opening. She's noticing she can breathe freely again. What a relief. She sits up and begins to take in her surroundings.

"Huh?" she says, as she notices she is in unfamiliar territory. "Oh," she exclaims as she looks around, "Wow." The realization hits her that she no longer has an earthly body, and neither does the boy standing beside her.

"Hi. I'm Chris," he says.

"Hi," she says. "You're Stacy's brother. I've heard so much about you."

"Stand up," Chris says. "Wait till you see what it feels like to walk around in this body!"

Andrea laughs. She stands up, a little wobbly at first, mainly because she was expecting it to be a lot harder.

"Look there," he points in the distance. She looks at the spot, and magically it pulls in closer. She can see her friends, and they're crying. She can look in any direction, and her friends, family and loved ones appear. They are all sad. Andrea watches them. She's concerned for them, but she's not sad. She's not crying. She can see things she's never seen before. She knows they will be OK. She knows how this plan that has played out in her life and death will affect her loved ones, and it gives her peace, perspective. Then, curiosity sets in.

"What can we do with these bodies?" She asks.

"Watch this." says Chris, and with that he jumps onto a 10 foot wall surrounding their new golden home.

"Cool. Let me try." And with that she jumps on the wall, too, taking time to catch her balance. "I'm new at this," she says, and gives Chris a sheepish glance. They sit on the wall, their feet dangling, Andrea taking in the view of her loved ones.

She hears their cries, their sadness. She can only take it so long. "Oh, stop it!" she yells. She's hoping they can hear her at some subconscious level. "Really. You guys need to get a grip! You know where I am."

Chris looks at her and reassures her. "They'll be like this for a day or two, then they'll laugh again. They'll remember the good stuff, not your death. Just give them time."

"Yeah, I guess you're right," she says.

A light shines on them from behind. It's brighter than anything she's ever known, yet she can see. Her new eyes can behold this light.

"Look over there," whispers Chris. "It's Him."

Andrea turns and looks, a wide smile crossing her face. "Hi."


Mike said...

Hi Stacy,

First off let me express my sorrow over the loss of your friend. I know how painful it can be to lose a good friend in thier prime so suddenly.

Second, you have written a wonderful tribute to her. The story is right you must remember the good times and that will come.

I wanted to tell you that I will get to my tag assignment but that seems kind of irrevelant at this point..thanks though for that opportunity.

Best wishes and prayers from Springfield.


Stacy said...


Thanks for the prayers and wishes. They are coveted for now.

Remembering the good times isn't hard with Andrea. In fact, that is what keeps coming up with everyone I talk to. She loved life, and it can't help but be infectious. She definitely left things better than before she was around, no matter what she did!

Don't worry about the tag. :) I just keep coming back for familiar pictures. I love the front porches in Springfield, too. I can't remember the street name, but there is a neighborhood back behind Mexican villa that has great porches! Great topic.

Thanks again!

Craver Vii said...

Praise God that death--the punishment for sin, has become for His called ones a transition to a life that is far better! We do not greive as those who are without hope. Nevertheless, I am truly sorry for your loss.

Shalom, friend.

Anonymous said...

Well, thanks for a good cry. it was beautiful and....I can only imagine!!

Lots and lots,

Mike said...

Stacy, I hope you are coping well. Just wanted to let you know your tag has been responded too.

Hang in there, the pain does subside after a while.


Anonymous said...

Stacy -- I'm so sorry for your loss. This post was just beautiful and timely -- I'm approaching the one-year anniversary of the loss of a dear friend of mine, and the sorrow has been welling up again. We certainly are remarkably blessed to have the hope of heaven and the resurrection.

Stacy said...


Do you still have "I need to call so-and-so and tell them about this" moments? I think that will last for awhile for me. I'm teaching kids she used to teach, and I kept her informed of their progress, just to let her know her hard work was paying off. I had a big moment this week with one of her students, and my first thought was, "I need to call her, she's not going to believe this!"
It is slowly seeping in. She died very far away, and her memorial is in the states, so it just hasn't set in completely.
I'll be thinking of you as the anniversary comes and goes.