Thursday, July 23, 2015

Remembering our cousin, Regina Pizzino Toler

Left to right: Regina, C.E. behind Doug, and Dale. 

Regina's Senior High School Photo

                                        Left to Right: C.E., Doug, Regina, Dwayne, and Dale.

On July 20, 2015, my cousin, Regina Pizzino Toler, died. She and I had just talked at the end of May and I still remember the sound of her voice as she said, “I know you’re praying for me and I wanted to share with you that the doctor said my lung cancer is in remission.”  She sounded so joyous!  She laughed ... I cried!  Both of us excited and rejoicing in our own way as together we gave the Lord the glory for her good news.  

But while Regina’s lungs were clear, just a few weeks ago cancer showed up in her brain and the Lord that we praised together saw it best to take her Home.  She is now there with her Dad, her Mom, and her older brother; Heaven is richer while earth is a shade grayer without her.

I read a quote that says, “a cousin is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost”.  I understand that saying. Regina was about 18 months older than me and was one of those special people that have been a part of my life all of my life.  When I was young, I would spend my summers with my grandparents there in West Virginia and she allowed me to invade her life for a while.  She was always fun, seemed to know everybody, and ... she was so, so pretty!  She had the most beautiful complexion and raven-black hair!  Even though I always felt pale (I’m the blond cousin!) and plain, she made me feel pretty just by being with her.

Unfortunately it happens all too often that as we get older life becomes consumed with the day to day living of it.  Regina and I would visit together whenever I was able to return to West Virginia and she always made me feel welcome and loved in her home.  After I became interested in our family genealogy, she was a wealth of information and memories, freely sharing photos and information, giving tidbits that added color and interest to our family's story.

The Bible says in Psalms 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”  Our lives are richer for having Regina in our family.  We mourn with her husband, her sons and their families, her brothers ... all of which now have to create a new “normal” life without her being in it.  But with them, we rejoice that she is with the Lord and we will see her again.

The broken heart and sorrow we feel is a tribute to the relationship and the love we have for the person who has died. The empty place they leave here makes Heaven more real.  We never forget them –  we aren’t supposed to.  We are to remember them, to love them, to cry when our heart aches so much we feel it will break ... then we get up and go on with life. And the time will come when we will touch their memory and it will be warm, precious, and comforting.  Just not today.

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1 comment:

I would love to hear your story or your comments.