Story: Finding her way in the valleys of life – Part 3

Jill Edelman (2019)

Editorial Board: Due to the message and length of this story, a decision was made to make this story into three part. This is part three.

DALLAS, TEXAS: Jill Edelman – a Georgia ‘girl’ in a Texas world – has had a real journey in her life – from the day she was born in Hawkinsville, Georgia 52 years ago to today, as she is a Realtor in Texas.

Last year, the Edelmans – Jill, her husband Richard and her sons were dealt a tragic blow.

“It was June 27, 2018 … Richard and I were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary … That morning, we kissed good-bye as we always did, and promised a nice dinner together that evening,” she said. Jill’s mom and niece were in town – two weeks later than originally planned – and they were preparing a special meal for Richard and Jill.

“Little did we know all of our lives would be forever changed on that day,” Jill said.

She paused. “At 9:20 in the morning, I am in a meeting, and my cell phone is on my desk at work. Richard calls. He left a voicemail at 9:40 a.m. My phone rings again, and I am still in my meeting … EMS leaves a message.”

At 10:30 a.m., Jill’s meeting ended and she checked her phone. Her husband had been in an automobile accident, and his car was totaled. Jill rushed to the hospital. “When I got there, Richard was sitting in the bed. I asked all the right questions, I thought. Do you have a list of his medications, do you know he has a heart condition and has he seen the doctor, and on and on.”

Richard Edelman died that day. “It was unexpected for us … but was not a surprise for God,” Jill said. “Little did I know, but for the past year, God had been preparing me for this journey.”

She recalled a post she made on Facebook nine months prior to that day. The post read, “God is preparing me for something. I don’t know what it is. I can’t put down His word. I am reading and understanding and know something is happening.”

Four months prior to that day, on Valentine’s Day, Jill received a unique gift from her husband. “He had purchased a ‘forever rose.’ It was a real rose dipped in 24 carat gold … and he gave her a blanket with the infinity symbol and “our names embroidered on it. This is unique … for 19 years he had given me a dozen roses. I would tell him roses die, just give me a card.”

Jill said, “He gave me the forever rose and said ‘Now, you have a rose from me that will never die. It will last forever.’”

Two months prior to the day of the accident, Richard purchased a new wedding ring set for Jill – something he had been trying to do for two years. One month prior to the accident, Richard and Jill went to Israel. Two days prior to the accident, Kerth had texted Richard. Jill said the text read, “Dad, I’m eating at Firehouse Subs. You remember the first time you took us there in Arkansas? I’m eating the Hook and Ladder with Vickie’s chips.”

One day before the accident, or as Jill says, “Richard’s rebirth,” Jill said, “Corey called him. ‘Dad, I have the highest grades in my class. I could be the valedictorian.’ Corey was in the fire academy, and Richard had encouraged him to follow his dreams.”

“The day of the accident, my mom was visiting from Georgia, and Richard had ordered two dozen roses to be delivered to our home, and had purchased my anniversary card,” she said.

She continued, “When I arrived at the ER, he told me how much he loved me and how glad he was that he had me.” The couple shared other things that day, in those final moments.

Two hours later, Richard was gone.

Jill said, “In 2018, I lost my best friend and my husband. My sons lost their father. However, from that day to this, it has been my belief, the best for me is yet to come.”

“For some, this may sound strange. However, God has never let me down,” she said, adding, “He has always given me more than I deserve. I trust Him completely. He had so much love for me that the entire year prior to losing Richard, God was preparing me to walk this journey as a widow.”

Jill continued, “When I decided to begin counseling, I learned my counselor lost her husband in an auto accident years prior to our meeting. I did not have this information when I selected her through my employee benefits’ plan.”

“She did not know my story until the day we met. When God does something, He does it the right way, the first time,” she said.

Jill concluded, “To get through tragedy, have faith and review God’s track record in your life. The outcome has been and is always what is best even when we don’t understand.”

She said,”The way I manage my grief is realizing we are all part of His plan. When we suffer and overcome and share our stories, we are playing our role in His great play called life.”

And that is good news.