June 9, 2017 – I will send a “Patrick update” this weekend (he’s doing well), but first…
This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write —
On Thursday, June 1st, my dear and precious friend, Wendy Pollard, passed away peacefully with her husband Jim by her side. Please keep the family, especially their three beautiful children – Charless, Sophia and Tripp — in your thoughts and prayers.
Many of you know Wendy. Some of you will only know her as the woman I wrote about last fall who has been fighting cancer alongside Patrick this year, having been diagnosed within weeks of each other. She and Jim SAVED US at our lowest moment — giving us encouragement, advice and even a place to stay in Houston (their temporary apartment rented for her treatment) as we embarked on this journey together. (You can read that post here — http://janiegrace.me/2016/08/22/friends-through-the-fire). We are forever grateful for their friendship, love and support. There is no way to adequately say thank you for that. Except to return the favor with a lifetime of friendship, love and support for the family Wendy left behind. And that, we will do gladly.
Wendy ran her race with a fierce but calm demeanor and a graceful strength the likes of which I’ve never seen. Her faith was never shaken. NOT EVER. She loved unselfishly with every breath she took, even up until her very last one. It was my greatest privilege and honor to sit by her side all through the night on Wednesday, May 31st, along with another one of our friends, Jen. We held her hand constantly while she slept deeply. We did not sleep. We played music for her and told her how much she was loved. We assured her that everything would be okay. The next morning, in a manner that left NO DOUBT that she was called to Heaven by God at the exact moment He ordained for her, Wendy took her final breath just as her pastor finished praying and spoke the word “AMEN.”
I know she was greeted at the gates of Heaven with the words “well done, good and faithful servant.” That is my consolation in this overwhelming, heavy grief.
Wendy’s service on June 7th was absolutely perfect. Bonnie Bishop sang. Her soulful, powerful voice filled the sanctuary with raw emotion. Everyone who spoke (Patrick being one of them) shared a different perspective and relationship to Wendy. But they all had the same theme – a woman of God, graceful, strong, positive, funny, a warrior, giving, humble. Her daughters, overflowing with her spirit, gave sweet and loving remarks with such bravery and tenderness. Jim called on his wonderful gift of storytelling and with complete composure, shared a testimony that I am sure led some people to Jesus and brought us all a comfort that only comes from faith in God. It was just as Wendy would have wanted.
I will miss my friend for as long as I live. She made me, and everyone who knew her, a better person. Her radiant, authentic light shines on — in her children, in the memories we have of her, and in the meaningful work that will be done in her honor.
Please consider a donation to the newly founded Wendy Pollard Charitable Foundation. I will sit on the Board of Directors and we will make her proud!
Wendy’s beautifully written obituary –