So many thoughts swirl through my mind as I wonder what I could possibly write that could adequately give voice to the extraordinary suffering that this month and, in particular, this day has ushered into the souls of my family. Even in prayer, I find myself speechless and simply wait for the Spirit to intercede for me with “groanings too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26) It has been four years since we said goodbye to our daughter, sister, and friend. Through the years, I’ve come to recognize that our loss and suffering is particularly extraordinary because Evie was an extraordinary young lady. Although it is difficult to comprehend why she was whisked away at such a young age, I am confident that she made a lasting impression on those around her and continues to do so even in death. As I reflect upon her life, I offer you the following principles to live by according to Evie:
- Love deeply. Never be afraid to tell someone how much you love them. Be creative in your expression of love.
- Smile often. Let others see the joy of Christ that flows within you.
- Show compassion and empathy for the suffering and marginalized. Defend them fiercely. Go out of your way to make them feel loved and to show them the love of God even at the cost of being unpopular. Do what you can to relieve their suffering.
- Make prayer a priority. Gather others to pray with you. Spend time with Christ in Adoration.
- Always try to find the good in others.
- Live in wonder. Be content with simplicity. Spend time enjoying God’s creation.
- Serve others without counting the cost. Let God see your service in secret. Try to recognize the needs of others before your own.
- Read about the lives of the Saints and aspire to emulate them in your own life.
- Learn to love our Blessed Mother and allow her to lead you to Christ. Meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary and pray it often.
- Develop a deep love and reverence for Christ in the Eucharist.
My prayer is that you can find hope and inspiration in her life. I know that is what she would have wanted more than anything. So many of you have reached out already today and in the days preceding today with love and prayers for our family. We can’t tell you how much it means to us to be remembered, prayed for, and loved. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!