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The Missing Piece of My Puzzle…

Death is inevitable.

We all know that is what lays in waiting. (Sorry for my being blunt, but there is joy at the end of this post!)

Yet, when we lose a loved one, it causes such excruciating pain.

Life will never be the same. It will always be different. Even for Christians that believe in eternity struggle when they lose a loved one.

Life will keep going on, day by day, we will get better in catching up to it.  But, a piece of your life’s puzzle will be gone, and nothing could take its place.

The puzzle will have to continue to evolve without that missing piece.  And, all you could do is hope and pray, it will be good. But, you know in your heart, it will never be better.

Milly’s story…

For many years, my cousin, Milly, and I didn’t keep in touch.  (Sadly, that is the situation for many of my family members.)

Last year, I was leading a women’s bible study group for my church, and Milly showed up out of the blue with a mutual friend of ours.  I had heard that she had been diagnosed with the same cancer that took her mom’s life when we were teenagers.

That evening the bible study group prayed for God’s healing to come over Milly.

On my way home, I cried.

My tears were tears of sadness, but yet of hope and thankfulness.  You see, I was sad that my cousin had to face the giant, cancer.

But yet, I was hopeful and thankful that I was able to pray for her, and no matter what, she had Jesus to carry her through this undeserving storm.

While going through chemotherapy Milly would continue to attend bible study group, and church on Sundays.

About three weeks ago, I got word that there was nothing else the doctors could do for her. She was being sent home from the hospital. She would receive hospice care at home.

On her Facebook page, her sisters were asking for no visitors.  Milly was extremely tired, and needed her rest.

I continued to pray for her.

On Friday, October 7th, I arrived at work, and my thoughts quickly went to Milly. I wanted to see her, and pray for her, but I wanted to respect the family’s request.  But, I knew if I didn’t see her one last time, I would feel absolutely devastated.

So, I prayed.

On my way home from work, I received a phone call from our mutual friend that Milly wanted us to come over that night.

I knew that was it. God was calling her home.

Although I really wanted to see her, my head started pounding, and my stomach started turning.  I hadn’t seen my other cousins, Milly’s sisters in years, and I was nervous.

My mom’s side of the family isn’t on good terms, but it had nothing to do with Milly’s family.

To be raw and real, family encounters aren’t easy for me. It’s a reminder of all the hurts that have divided us.  (That was terrifying, yet liberating to write.)

Milly’s husband, daughter, and sisters graciously welcomed me with open arms.

When I walked into the bedroom, Milly looked beautiful.  The peace she had in her heart permeated throughout her. She didn’t need me to comfort or assure her of God’s goodness.

Milly loved God, and she knew His goodness regardless of her illness.

She was going home to her Father.

So, with tears running down my face, I prayed for her!  After I prayed, I asked her “so what do you want me to do for you?”

And, the words easily came out of her mouth.  Please keep your eyes on my daughter.

The next day, Milly passed away.

Once again, I cried tears of sadness and thankfulness.

I miss her, and my heart breaks for her family!  But, I am so extremely thankful that our lives crossed paths before she left us.

I am thankful that my Lord heard my prayer, and I was able to see her one last time, and pray peace over her.

But, since then, I’ve been crying often.

The loss of my cousin has me thinking about my mom.  My mother is not dead, but as many of you know, she is in a vegetative state.

I miss my mom immensely.

There is an emptiness in my heart that no amount of busyness can fill.
Trust me, I have tried.

The other day I cried myself to sleep, because I couldn’t recall her voice, and I so badly wanted to hear it.

Not the sweet, “Mimi (my nickname), I got you something.”  She loved buying me stuff.

More like, her scolding voice.

“You think I was born yesterday! I know what you are going to do before you even think it.”

I loved her spicy attitude! I know she loved me so much that she would kick my butt, before she stood by and let me make a stupid decision.

They say, time heals all wounds.  I think it’s more like time helps you learn how to maneuver in life, without that essential piece of your puzzle.

Today, I am trying to fill my mom’s piece with the memories I have with her…

  • how she couldn’t hear music without dancing, especially Salsa music.
  • how she mixed her words up. She never got sayings correct.
  • how emotional and passionate she would get over the minuscular things.

As I wrote those things, I can literally look in the mirror and see her. I am so much like her.

Her blood runs through me, and all I have to do is listen carefully to my voice and I could hear her voice.

I know we all have pieces missing from our lives, but don’t run from it, and don’t try to fill it with unhealthy things.

I am learning more to embrace my hurt, so I can live freely.

One day, I’ll get to sit beside my mom, and share all my stories with her.

Until then, I’ll continue to write …

This entry was posted in: Blog


Rosabel Sanchez is a woman who loves God- serves Him with great humbleness, loves her family and friends- serves them with great love, and love life with such a great appreciation for all that she has been blessed with. She, her husband and 4 children lead two churches on the southwest-side of Chicago, where they all live. As I embark on this new journey, I pray and hope I can become a part of one of your daily practices- your morning inspiration, your afternoon break from the world, or your evening cool down. So join me with a cup of your choice- coffee, tea, chocolate- and you will be blessed with encouraging words to warm your heart & soul.


  1. Evette Trejo says

    Milly was special to me. You have me crying like a baby, but knowing she isn’t suffering anymore.I was glad I was able to share that last night with her praying and telling her how much I loved her and Carmen. I hurt for you Rosa you are amazing if I was granted 1 wish I would ask for your mom to be healed so you can have your mom back. You are an amazing woman of God that is faithful and a awesome role model to me. Thank you for being you love you.

    Liked by 1 person

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