Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A Touch Of Eternity

Hello Friends,

Last night was Leah's memorial service. I don't think that I will say anything more seemingly contradictory than this, but her memorial service was a phenomenal time! Generally, "memorial" and "phenomenal time" do not occur in the same sentence. I really believe though that the experience is aptly described by these words. I'll explain further in a moment.

First, I want to thank you for all of your support of our family over these past weeks, culminating in an overwhelmingly beautiful coronation last night. I know that I speak for the family when I say that just your presence alone was touching beyond words. But then, there were the words of encouragement and love that lasted well over an hour after the ceremony was over. The flood that swept over us was a healing wave that God gave to each of us. Thank you so much.

Additionally, I wanted to thank the people that did not make it to me after the service, but that did make it. I wish that time would have permitted a personal greeting, but I recognize the time constraints that keep such things from being a reality. Needless to say, I saw many more from the stage than had time to come and visit my "hug line."

Finally, a few notes of thanks to Pat Watson, Billy Gedney, Terry Oelrich, Ed and April Sanabia, Steve and Isy Nieves, who did sound, the slideshow, the photo collage and the music with us last night. You gave the night such beauty and helped bring to us the life that Leah experiences now without interupption. Of course, I would be remiss not to mention Pastor Ed Rea and his secretary Jean Fowke, who opened the doors wide open and gave us the opportunity to hold the service there at the Packinghouse.

To me, the pinnacle moment from this service, that I will always remember, came at a time that wasn't supposed to happen. We had practiced two songs, "When The Tears Fall" and "I Will Rise." The latter of the two spoke of angels singing of the worthiness of God. I was excited to sing this song, as I felt that it expressed a chorus that Leah would be singing. That song was mighty and beautiful. But then, what I thought was a mistake, opened the doors to the moment of the night.

My brother Richard started into the song "Mighty To Save" and it was so right! It was perfect! Immediately, with the fresh spontaneity of the theme and the fact that Jesus had "conquered the grave," the entire assembly stood to their feet and raised their hands to heaven. The whole band joined in, while I raised my own hands, mostly because I did not know the chords! I would not have wanted to play in that moment anyway! I wanted my hands to be free and I wanted to raise them to the Lord in thanksgiving for what He had done for my sister and what He will one day do for me.

When those hands went up, I had a picture come into my mind of us releasing Leah into heaven, though she has been there for a little over a week! I felt that in that moment, my picture of her was completely lost in the praise of our King. In that moment, all the sadness morphed into uncontrollable joy and I felt that wonderful smile of God that comes when His people worship Him with one heart! It was great to be there.

Thank you again for joining us and making that moment so special.

Blessings,
Frank Sanchez

5 comments:

Carrie said...

Okay, I'm so excited right now because I felt so overwhelmed in that final moment, and I thought to myself -I want the Sanchez family to have a memory of this from my view. So I awkwardly took a picture! Now I'm glad I did!!

kindra said...

Wow..is all I can say. You put everything in perspective...we are only here to bring glory to God and our ultimate act of worship is going home to be with Him.
Thank you for sharing your heart with us, Frank. I so wish I could have been there.
I will continue to pray for you and your folks as you are missing Leah SO much.
Hope to see you soon. ~ Kindra

The Thompson Family said...

Why do I cry every time I read your blog? HAA!
Thank you for allowing us to be apart of celebrating Leah's life! I have never experienced a memorial like this one! I loved that Richie played that last song too! Touched my heart and I will always remember that exact moment when I hear "Mighty To Save."
Sorry I wasn't able to jump in your hug line! :) Haa!
Hope to see you guys again soon!

the Thompson's love the Sanchez's!

The Thompson Family said...

Why do I cry every time I read your blog? HAA!
Thank you for allowing us to be apart of celebrating Leah's life! I have never experienced a memorial like this one! I loved that Richie played that last song too! Touched my heart and I will always remember that exact moment when I hear "Mighty To Save."
Sorry I wasn't able to jump in your hug line! :) Haa!
Hope to see you guys again soon!

the Thompson's love the Sanchez's!

sax4him said...

Couldn't agree with you more Frankie. The whole evening was as deeply fulfilling as any "regular" church service I've attended or worshiped in....joy...reflection...praise...the Inner Sanctum....fellowship...Leah's memorial had it ALL. Certainly an experience none of us will forget. Our family thanks you for holding us dear enough to share it with yours. PEACE