Last December, only days from her 45th birthday, our niece, Ima Lee slipped from this world to the next. She did not go quietly or without a fight. She fought cancer with every force offered and from a powerful will to live. Her life as a whole not just the few years she battled cancer, but the whole of it prepared her.
On December 1, 1971, before her first birthday, her Dad died in an automobile crash outside Tinker Field in Oklahoma where he was reporting for a duty assignment. Her mother, Kaye, my husband’s sister and my beloved sister-in-law died of cancer on August 25, 1987 shy of her 41st birthday, when Ima Lee was 16. She became a single mother and the birth of Chassity gave her a clarity of purpose that had eluded her as she struggled to make sense of her life. Make no mistake SHE loved that child, now a beautiful accomplished young wife and mother. Her fierce love for her child led her to the Man who would become her husband and Chassity’s father, Clark Pierce. She enlisted and served in the United States Airforce, like her father before her. Following her service they settled in Missouri to raise the child they loved.
Over the years marked by misunderstanding and geographical distances we had fallen out of touch with Ima Lee and her family, but Thanks be to God we got the opportunity to reconnect and reconcile. Terry even got the honor of officiating at Chassity and Danny’s wedding in August 2012 in Gatlinburg, TN. We were blessed to be able to help in some small way getting her to some of her doctor appointments and chemotherapy treatments. Our gratefulness for that time with her and Clark cannot be measured. We came to love her and her family deeply and that love continues as we follow Chassity and her family on Facebook.
LIfe here is full of pitfalls, fires, and storms. Life here is full of beauty, laughter, and mountaintop experiences. Life here offers opportunities to come together or to tear apart….CHOOSE TOGETHER. Ima Lee’s Life taught me that the test of our strength and our faith GROWS when we embrace the people we love and fight for every moment with them….even that we will be united in heaven.