October 13, 2021 - Update from the Bankhead family

Thank you for traveling this road with Shari and our family. When it was suggested that I share daily updates, I was skeptical about it and wasn’t looking for sympathy or attention, just seeking prayer for Shari and to share how serious her condition had become. But I have been reminded of several things and learned many new lessons as well, here are a few of them:
1) the power of prayer
2) the power of relationship
3) the power of social media to influence for good and the ability to use it to unite rather than divide
4) the “therapeutic” benefit for me as I write each post and attempt to read every response
5) the reminder of God’s love and
faithfulness expressed through friends “old and new”
6) my tendency to be “long winded!”

The past six plus weeks have been surreal in so many ways, but I realize I am not in a nightmare that will end when the alarm clock goes off. There are times I feel “on top of things” and then suddenly get totally inundated by a tidal wave of emotions and grief. I am realizing that the pain is deep because I have been loved deeply and I have loved deeply. Shari and I met 40 years ago in mid September, our first date was early October, 40 years ago.
One of the songs played at our wedding was by a local Ohio artist (I can’t recall his name) the song said, “I can’t believe God loved me enough to give me you.” That is the way I feel about Shari now more than ever. She has been a tremendous reminder of God’s love and blessing in my life.

Now that she has celebrated her welcome into Heaven, I must admit I am slightly jealous. I don’t have the answers, but I know God has numbered all of our days. Why Shari’s race ended when it did is beyond my ability to understand today. As I look back I can see how God was preparing me and each of us for this day, this season, this loss. May God’s will continue to be done in our lives, on earth as it is in Heaven.

Our family has shared that in lieu of flowers to consider a donation to the World Hope Children’s Playground Fund. Shari loved everyone, but she had a big soft spot in her heart for our children. She had been pressing me to get a new playground at the church, or at least refurbish the existing one. Our family feels it would be a great way to celebrate and honor her heart for children and her commitment to others, as we help to build a new playground in memory of her. Several have asked about online giving, here is the link, follow the instructions and select the option for Shari’s Memorial Playground: https://whwcnc.org/giving/.

Here is the link for Shari’s obituary

Here's the Livestream link, hosted by Cavin-Cook on their YouTube channel.

Thanks for your faithfulness to read and pray! God is at work, and He holds Shari and each of us in His caring hands!

With love and gratitude,
The Bankhead Family

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