This Thanksgiving …

My sweet precious Sheryl posted her thoughts about this Thanksgiving on her social media page today.  I will let her words inspire you today …


“Holidays always bring mixed emotions for me. For anyone that has spent 5 minutes with me, knows that I love Christmas, and I’m pretty sure it’s because of my momma, but it also brings a bit of sadness.

This was Thanksgiving 2011. The last one that we would celebrate together on this side of heaven. The picture has changed drastically. We’ve added new faces, we’ve gotten older, the little ones in front are no longer little, and the 3 chairs are empty now.

Some of you are facing your holiday season with an empty chair for the first time, and I understand how difficult that can be. This is not my first Thanksgiving without them, but the feelings are there. You cannot avoid the missing part.


So I challenge all of us that have a missing piece of our heart, to celebrate the time that we did have, the memories that were made and talk about our loved ones. Laugh, cry, unplug and make intentional memories with your family. Time is a gift. Make it count.

On Thanksgiving Day, take lots of pictures, look people in the eyes and savor every second.”


Jana Maples Myrick Aust went Home … to Jesus, her Mama, and other loved ones in Heaven … early Tuesday morning.  She was one of the most beautiful people in this world.  And she shone brightly throughout her incredible lifetime here which ended way too soon.  Much before any of us would have expected.

Let me say at this point in the story … CANCER SUCKS!  It is a monster. It is evil. It is wicked. And, it is no match for the Savior. Jesus died on a cruel cross, was buried, then resurrected as KING … over cancer. HE wins. Therefore, WE win.  Hallelujah!  O praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead!!

My beautiful Sheryl and Jana were childhood friends who grew up to fall in love with two brothers from this sleepy little town of Pascagoula.  Danny and I dated Jana and Sheryl through high school and college years, and then married our sweethearts, to then venture into our own respective journeys and careers.

Danny and Jana loved and lived big. They brought two incredibly talented and handsome boys into this earth who are their greatest pride and joy.

As life does, it threw a few curve balls at Danny and Jana. They divorced a few years ago; and eventually remarried loving new spouses who have brought even more joy, laughter, love, and beauty to our extended and blended family.

Jana touched thousands of people in her lifetime here. Her effervescent smile, radiant personality, and spitfire energy lit up any room she entered. Her children adored her and carry her spunky spirit in them.

In the blur of just 24-hours since her transition to Heaven, the expressions of love, sympathy, condolences and memories have flooded her social media page. It is obvious to all that Jana made her indelible mark on many. She lived fully. She loved as unconditionally as humanly possible. And she will never be forgotten.

We love you Jana. We miss you terribly.  Yet, we rejoice that you are Home, Healed, and more fully Alive than we can imagine.  We will cry many tears as we remember life with you, and now without you.  We will laugh at the charming memories you created for us all. We will deeply love one another more carefully because of the intense love you showed us all.

Jana, you were more like Jesus to us than you may have realized. You always showed kindness and generosity to others.  You took the mess that life sometimes creates, and recreated new life and new love from the mess.  You chose to overcome darkness with light.  You demonstrated heroic faith and courage in the face of the monster disease that we all have come to utterly detest.  You beat the monster. You are the champion.

We celebrate you, Jana.  And, we will see you again dear sister.

Thank you Jesus, for our beautiful sweet Jana.  We celebrate her and now entrust her to Your sovereign care … until we meet again at that Glad Reunion Day.