Three years ago, my only sister lost her courageous battle with breast cancer. She was the happy, outgoing, humorous side of our family. We respectfully titled her “the problem-solver” when she used her objective quality to mend out “knit-picking” as she called it.

I still find it difficult to talk about Shelia at times, but I have found the more I share her story, the less heartache I carry the next day. She will always live in our hearts, and her presence felt throughout our homes.

All the home movies we made over the years (she and I) are a joy to watch, and I laugh until my diaphragm aches. That is one of the most precious gifts she gave to me and our family – her unending laughter.

I wrote to honor her memory. Just this past October, I was able to speak to our congregation during Cancer Awareness Month and tell her story along with this poem.



Don’t cry for me when I am gone

For I will not be all alone

My JESUS wait with open arms

The trumpets-they will sound alarms.


This world no longer holds its charm

And I’ll be where there is no harm

No Pity for me on my last dawn

‘Cause I’ll be happy when I’m gone.


I made it HOME-no sorrow here

Just my loved ones full of cheer

They gather all as JESUS nears

To welcome ME-HIS child in tears

But cry I not for leaving you

For someday you will be HERE, too.


Keep your feet on that narrow path

To reap rewards that JESUS hath

And when you look up toward the sky

Smile for me – and please don’t cry

For I’ll be waiting patiently

‘Til once again your face I see.


-By Reba Lay

Posted on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 9:15 pm