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The Gains from Our Losses

A Tribute to Mirna

Meet my friend, Mirna Babik Misseri.

I had known Mirna’s husband, Joe, for many years. By happenstance, the summer after my husband passed, I found out her husband had pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed in July of 2018 and had his first surgery for the port on his birthday a week later. And so, the treatments started. He was given 3-6 months to live, but he battled for 14 months—that was a miracle. Out of that season, I met Mirna. She was easy to love, so needless to say, we became fast friends. My grandmother at the time was also in cancer treatment. I got to visit Mirna and Joe when taking my grandmother for some of her treatments. Those were special times.

At my kid’s school, they prayed for Joe every day and made him cards. He felt loved like he had never felt loved before from our Rock Church family. You see, his family is Catholic, but love crosses religion boundary lines. Joe’s family owns Joe’s Pasta Palace and has been serving our community for 40 years. They serve this community!!! When Joe’s health started declining, our church family volunteered at his restaurant. Those are the eternal moments I will cherish so much. When you love deeply, you will do whatever you can to help out another friend.

When Joe lost his battle to cancer, he gained his wings into heaven. You see, that following summer after his diagnosis, he gave his heart to the Lord in a renewed way. Joe loved and served our Franklin, Southampton and Isle of Wight locals well. And from that point on, Mirna was someone I wanted to know.

She is a lady that lifts. She has a smile that warms a room. We gained a friendship out of the losses we had both experienced from our husband’s passing and their friendship. Connection didn’t end when they crossed over into eternity. It’s being carried forward through us.

I saw Mirna last Christmas Eve to give her a Christmas present. The next day, my niece was confirmed positive with Covid-19. I had to call Mirna to let her know she might have been exposed. Folks, she was so kind and gentle about it. Thankfully, she didn’t get it. And, she checked on me every day. She even brought me homemade chicken noodle soup. I really think it quickened my recovering. It was sooooo gooodddd!!!

As I was working on this blog, I had to ask Mirna about a few details, and then these texts started dropping into my text box. They needed to be added to this blog, for her heart is full of thanksgiving. This is the story of healing. She would tell you the journey is hard. The love and the angelic moments she has experienced cannot be explained, but they can be embraced. The Father above loves this lady so so so so much. She has a real relationship with the Holy Spirit and her stories will humble you, as they have done me, if she is ever given an opportunity to share them.

She told me this recently,

“I noticed one time, after I took over and came home from work and told him the restaurant was doing well, he perked up and was happy all day. I knew that I had to keep the business up to keep him alive. That was his legacy, and I was not going to let him feel that what he worked for his whole life was going to go down the drain. This, me being kind and understanding and staying countless nights with him in hospitals and ER and all the love from the community is what kept him alive longer than any doctor had expected.”

Love does miracles. This is another quote from Mirna,

“I hugged him every night until he fell asleep. All the antidepressants and sleeping pills did not work. He was not able to go to sleep at night until I hugged him. I WAS his rock. But, then when he fell asleep, I was awake all night, so worried, so scared. Many times I was in the brink of falling apart, as you can't be strong for everyone for that long. My Rock family was my ROCK. Your love and support for me showed me God's mercy and gave me strength. God bless My Rock family!!! Every single one of them, especially the Dillons💖💗”

What more can I say about this lady? Can you hear her heart? She has felt belonging from another church family. Please know this is mentioned in love. I’m not pointing fingers, just expressing some real time feelings. Feelings need to be expressed however they are felt to a grieving widow. No judgement, just standing with them. The process is different for every widow I have talked too. It’s fascinating and humbling to be a part of that club.

When thinking about Mirna, this passage came to mind:

“‘For when you saw me hungry, you fed me. When you found me thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I had no place to stay, you invited me in, and when I was poorly clothed, you covered me. When I was sick, you tenderly cared for me, and when I was in prison you visited me.’ Then the godly will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty and give you food and something to drink? When did we see you with no place to stay and invite you in? When did we see you poorly clothed and cover you? When did we see you sick and tenderly care for you, or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Don’t you know? When you cared for one of the least important of these my little ones, my true brothers and sisters, you demonstrated love for me.’ Then to those on his left the King will say, ‘Leave me! For you are under the curse of eternal fire that has been destined for the devil and all his demons. For when you saw me hungry, you refused to give me food, and when you saw me thirsty, you refused to give me something to drink. I had no place to stay, and you refused to take me in as your guest. When you saw me poorly clothed, you closed your hearts and would not cover me. When you saw that I was sick, you didn’t lift a finger to help me, and when I was imprisoned, you never came to visit me.’ And then those on his left will say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty and not give you food and something to drink? When did we see you homeless, or poorly clothed? When did we see you sick and not help you, or in prison and not visit you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Don’t you know? When you refused to help one of the least important among these my little ones, my true brothers and sisters, you refused to help and honor me.’ And they will depart from his presence and go into eternal punishment. But the godly and beloved ‘sheep’ will enter into eternal bliss.’”

Matthew 25:42-46 TPT

When you refused to help one of the least important among these, my little ones, my true brothers and sisters, you refused to help and honor Me. What a powerful verse!!! This is Mirna. She shows love in these ways.

Our husbands have entered the stage of their life called eternal bliss. Do we miss them? Absolutely! Did they impact this community? Absolutely! Are we learning how to live without them by our side? Absolutely! Have we had to lean on our Heavenly Father like never before? Absolutely! It has changed us. It has deepened our faith. It has been humbling to experience.

Mirna, you are beautiful inside and out. I am so, so, so thankful for your life. Your voice and prayers matter. This is what the Father is after. You love people with your whole heart. You love deeply and you love hard. Keep shining bright, for you are a daughter of His delight. It’s been an honor and a privilege, and you are the apple of His eye.

Until next time,

Stay tender.

Connect to the Mender.

Be a sender.

Next month is Women’s History Month. 😍

So, I will be continuing this little series of loving on the woman around me who are making an impact behind the scenes. It will be called Secret Warriors. They may not be in a textbook, but they are writing their eternal book and some of those pages will overlap.

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Another beautiful tribute, Micah.


Dear Micah:

I am so thankful for the kind words and most generous tribute. Surely I am not deserving of all these praises, I believe YOU and many other men and women in the Rock family certainly are, but I am very very grateful for your overflowing love and uplifting message!!! ❤

"Through our losses, we gained our friendship". While my trial and loss were painful and hard, Jesus sent me friends and brothers and sisters in Christ to walk with me, exhort me, comfort me and lift me up in prayers and acts of kindness and love. How kind and merciful is the Lord! My heart could have hardened with resentment, but You Micah and many in the Rock…

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