Sometimes we see death approaching from afar. It slowly advances at a regulated pace on a person who has lived a long and full life. It may surprise us, but it is not totally unexpected.
Sometimes death calls on someone who has been ill for a while, and we might even consider it a blessing.
Yesterday death swept in and took my sister-in-law, Lizabeth Patch Armbruster. We are stunned at the audacity and shaken by the finality.
Liz was a 51 year old wife of Joe Armbruster, and mother of Eleanor, Laura, Jacob, Mary, Peter and Sam. She also had two grandsons. She actively participated in all things pertaining to her children. Her love for them and pride in them was apparent as you read the blog she kept recording the events in their lives and in her own.
Recently she wrote a couple of posts on her blog regarding memories of home and of growing up. She had a flair for writing, and a gift for displaying good common sense in the thoughts that she expressed. Her pen has now been silenced, and it is our loss.
This is the most recent photo I have of Liz taken in July 2009 while I was visiting Jennie in Atlanta. Liz drove three hours from South Carolina to come and see me. Liz went out of her way to be with family and was often the instigator of get togethers.
Liz's mother died of cancer at the age of 53. Liz was 19 at the time and felt her loss throughout the rest of her life. As Liz became an adult I watched her fight through this loss and take her life by the horns. She took on the responsibilities of a family, of church, scouts and even education, as she decided to home-school her children for a time. Not easy, to be sure, but she took action and did what was necessary. Her children will have wonderful memories of a mother who loved them and devoted her life to them.
I am proud to have known her.