“There’s no way of knowing that your last good day is Your Last Good Day. At the time, it is just another good day.”
― John Green
As of today at 5:55PM, Kathy Gin breathed her last breath here on earth, and is now with the Lord. She passed away at 56 years young of age and is survived by her husband David, her oldest son Christian, her middle daughter Kandice, and her youngest son Zachary. The doctor came in at 6:05PM to confirm that her body gave no pulse.
The picture above was the last picture I had with Kathy (or as I normally called her “Mrs. Gin”) and Kandice. It was the last good day I had with them and I did not even know it. That was almost a week ago. One week. And it was enough time for the cancer to metastasize to the point of being untreatable and debilitating her body to the point of robbing her of voice and breath in this life during her last two days here. Her voice, once filled with such ebullience and happiness, was silent.
But she did not pass away unnoticed. Mrs. Gin was a loving woman of God. She truly loved people with passion and joy. And it showed in her smile and speech; Mrs. Gin was one of the most chattiest women I have ever met. In fact, if you paired her with Kandice together, you would have a dynamic duo that is so chatty to the point where I can only sit down and wonder “so this is what it’s like to be an introvert~”
I’ve only known her for about 4 months and it was enough for her to make an impact on my life. When I started seeing her daughter, Mrs. Gin took the initiative in reaching out to me and showing me her care for my well-being, even in the little things. I have her to thank for making my first date with Kandice a success story in surprises (and that is a story for another time.)
So when Kandice and I rushed into the hospital yesterday after speeding through the freeway from Los Angeles to San Jose to pick Kandice up and drive to the hospital, Mrs. Gin was already bedridden and surrounded by droves of extended family and friends. Nurses and doctors wondered why that one room in the 5th floor kept getting visitors and overflowing with crowds of people.
Her preschool students sent her a binder filled with coloring papers that they filled out, family members came to drop by gifts and visit her, even to touch her and speak to her. Friends were there to hold her and talk to her. She was unable to speak, for her formerly loquacious vocal chords had become raspy; her esophagus parched, dried up of all moisture. Yet she was able to hear us and feel us tenderly pat her, letting her know. In the last days, when I spoke with Mrs. Gin, she locked eyes and twitched her eyebrows at me. I knew that I had her attention, despite the pain of cancer coursing in its relentless advances.
Kathy Gin loved much and she was greatly loved by much. She was not just Kandice’s mother, but she was everyone’s mother. I found myself shedding tears and choking up as I was reading Scripture passages to Kathy.
Treasure in Jars of Clay
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
(2 Corinthians 4:7-12 ESV)
And I saw a real manifestation of the suffering yet renewing spirit of that passage in Kathy Gin. I told her my thankfulness for her loving and caring for me, despite only having known me for a couple months. It was truly heart-wrenching to know that this was goodbye for now, that the questions I wanted to ask her will not be answered in this side of life, that the conversations I wished we had will not be happening here on Earth. But I recall a fellow brother reminding me that “The death of a Christian means we have completed all the good works God has prepared for us and its time to go home, we are in no way leaving something unfinished… our home going marks the completion of what God has prepared for us rather than missed future opportunity.”
Kandice has said that her mom lived a full life at 56 years young. And had so much more life to live. One of Kathy’s last words were “no more pain, I’m going to meet Jesus”
So during tonight at 5:55pm, as I held Mrs. Gin’s hand, Kandice looked into her mother’s drowsy eyes and told the words “I love you.” I felt her hand grip mine as Kandice saw her mouth stop breathing.
Kathy Gin impacted so many people in her life, and now she’s no longer in pain. Kandice said that she’s not sad that her mommy has gone to meet Jesus, but only wishes she had a little more time. And I feel the same too, knowing that those 4 months were absolutely sweet and a joy with her. I never knew that knowing someone for only that long would be enough to break me into tears.
I miss her so much for someone I’ve only known for a little bit. And I look forward to the kingdom of heaven, when I pass on to be with the Lord or when He comes back, that perhaps I would get the chance to have some good fruitful conversations with Kathy Gin, just like those last good days we had.
The final words she told Kandice to write were “Every day is a blessing, I’m thankful for each day. And I love everyone and I always will.”