A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of spending a few hours with my Mom's cousin, Shirley. A couple of weeks before that I didn't even know Shirley existed.
Shirley is the oldest niece of my Grandfather, Quinton, who died when he was 40. Life for my mom and her sisters was complicated after their father died (since then they were quite young), and we've alway had a million questions. Come to find out, not only does Shirley have a lot of memories of my Grandfather, she has two scrapbooks full of handwritten letters.
I left that time with her with a full heart after hearing incredible stories I never thought I'd hear. Even something tragic like someone dying far too early from cancer has the potential to bring people together 50 years later. That visit inspired me and strengthened my faith in so many ways. It was an incredible experience, and the words of Romans 8 continue to echo in my head and heart.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28, ESV)
I'm grateful to God for this incredible gift.