Tribute: A gift, statement, testimonial, etc. that shows gratitude, respect, or honor. Praise.
This is my tribute to Rebecca Joy Rankin (Founder of The Cracked Pot) and the life that she enhanced all about her while she lived on this side of eternity.
Becca breathed her last, while holding her earthly Daddy's hand, on July 23rd at 12:50 p.m.. Honestly, it was just an exchange of Hands, because she entered right into the loving embrace of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. There was no pain in that embrace. A full on hug. One that she hasn't been able to receive here for so long due to the pain that invaded her body. No pain. No sorrow. Just Joy.
This is a snippet of the last moments and jewels she gave us during her last day here. July 23rd was a rough morning for her. There was one moment, as I was holding her hand and helping get medication down, that I could count the seconds between a lengthly pause and breath. Almost as if she was already in another realm and just breathing in this one. She was soldiering on, but weary. I whispered to her that I knew she was tired, but to please press on until all the family was able to gather around. She fought and breathed on. Graciously allowing us to live out some memories that will forever be with us.
A little past eight, all the family was there in her room, around her bed, all watching Becca, a member that we love so dearly, breathing in life. One breath at a time. There is so much hope in breath....it's a symbol of life.
Growing up, my parents always made our birthdays special. We've never received extravagant presents, parties, etc., but we always knew we were valued, loved and treasured in our family. Simple traditions that grew in and up with us.
Mom made each of us a birthday sign with just our name in acronym form. That was displayed around the table as we ate the meal of the birthday one's choice. Rebecca's goes like this. (visualize bubble letters, all the colors of the rainbow, and on a laminated paper poster board as you read below.)
B estest Sister
C oncerned for others
A gift from God
Words speak life. Imagine yourself as a five year old. You see those words describing you and calling out something embedded inside you that is bigger and better. I do think that acronym was in Becca from the beginning, but I also know she took on the challenge of those words, grew into them, and made them uniquely her own.
One other special tradition is gathering around that person and speaking words of appreciation. Both traditions are a staple of every birthday to this day.
That is what we did as we were all surrounding Becca at her bedside Saturday morning. Each one of us was able to get up close and say the things we loved about her. The things that she had individually given each one of us by being Becca in our lives. Each one of us was able to give our blessing and say in individual words that, "I release you, Becca. It's ok to go and be with our Father."
All morning it was pouring rain. Aunt Donna mentioned that is was as if God was weeping along with us. I do not doubt that. That morning (really this whole month...really the entire past 33 years) was priceless with Becca. We sang hymns and prayed around her. The atmosphere was filled with Peace and in the midst of great sorrow, we were able to see a beauty that transcends pain and conquers death.
All your prayers carried us. Thank you.
As we've been talking about how to honor the life of Becca, we've come upon an idea that will need all of your participation. We need you, you, who have been faithful to this blog, or you, who have been apart of Becca's life by being family, friends, or just touched by a simple interaction with her life.
A tribute book.
It's going to be full of blank pages that need to be individually filled by you..... Please look for a picture of the two of you, a poem, a verse that's been apart of this journey, a note that you want to write, a word of appreciation for her life, lyrics, memories..... really, whatever you feel lead to give as your "tribute" of her life linked with yours.
With these, we will glue, write, and fill all the empty pages with.
This creation will be all of our tribute of Becca to hand over to her daughters later in life. Karis and Gabi are young and won't have all the beautiful memories that we all do of Becca. We want to create a book that they will be able to look over when their little hearts are sad about what they missed out on and have forgotten. Becca's life has touched too many people, and we want them to see the Joy she created while living here.
This book is only possible with all of your help and participation. Becca's life spread far beyond her own family. You, who are reading this, know just how far.
You can either bring your tribute to the viewing or the funeral.
Also, if you are not able to make either, please mail it to the address below before August 1st.
It's hard to be the last voice on "The Cracked Pot." It's difficult to finish a blog that I didn't start. Becca loved writing and sharing her heart here. Thank you for following and reading her words. It meant so much to her.
What would have been Becca's last words here? Psalm 63 says it so well.
"Because Your lovingkindness is BETTER than life, my lips shall praise You." -Psalm 63:3
I think in the final last breaths, He showed her a new glimpse of His love, and she entered into His gates with praise.
Yes, I think that she would have said, "Praise Him. He is my Joy. He is my life. Praise His name."
Writing this has been a great honor.
May His grace and love continue to cover us all today and in the days to come,
Viewing: Wednesday, July 27th 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. (Saylorville Baptist Church)
Funeral: Thursday, July 28th, 1:00 p.m. (Saylorville Baptist Church)
There will be a live feed on the computer for those of you who are far away but would like to watch the service.
The website is www.saylorvillebaptist.com Be forewarned, there will be commercials popping up that the church has no control over.
Address to send your tribute if unable to attend either:
440 NW 126th Ave
Slater, IA 50244
*We are ceasing from the 7pm prayer times. Also, the Monday worship nights are canceled. Thank you all for participating in this journey.
For those who can't make it to the funeral and want to watch the live feed, we're pasting on an insert to the bulletin explaining some of the choices for the memorial service.
Meanings for some of the choices for the Memorial Service *Cover page picture: Becca’s kept a blog since 2009 calling it a “A Cracked Pot” Letting God shine through regardless of my imperfections.” (beccarankin.blogspot.com) Ps. 18:30 was chosen because Becca had it engraved on a bracelet of one of her very dearest friends, Teresa Bair, as she left for Brazil, and it also conveys that although we don’t understand why Becca had to leave us so early, it somehow is perfect timing in God’s ultimate plan. *Processional song, Faith to Be Strong: Christie Bigelow, another dearest friend puts together songs on CD’s and gives them to people. Becca has been blessed many times by her thoughtfulness. On our Colorado trip, we played one of her CD’s, and Faith to Be Strong was one that “jumped out.” It ministered to all of us very much. *Blessings: Some other very dearest friends, Jess and Allison, are from Box T days (a horse and Bible camp where Becca counseled, cooked, you name it!) They all loved playing instruments and singing together. Jess, Allison, and Anna were able to visit Becca a few days before her home-going. We were all blessed as Jess sang this song to us. *Touch of the Master’s Hand: This is a poem that shouts “BECCA.” She and the other girls have done this countless times. (In fact, Faith, when she was too little to be a part of it, was sitting in church one day, and when the others were going to perform this, she put her hands over her ears and said, “Oh, no, not this again!) Even though they’ve done it so many times, we only could find one recording of it, at Noelle’s graduation program. *Hymn of Faith: Faith’s mom actually requested her to write a song based on Hab. 3:17-20 as it has ministered to her so much. The gist of it is, even if nothing is growing and we’re facing death “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my Salvation. The Lord God is my strength. He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.” During Becca’s journey, Faith sang this to her, and it greatly blessed her. We’ve been praying that if God wanted Faith to sing this at the service, He’d give her a verse especially for Becca. He did! As confirmation to her, she was trying to think of a particular verse and Psalm 63 came to her mind. Even though it wasn’t the verse she was trying to find, the psalm was exactly what she was trying to convey in her song. Hind’s Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard is a super allegory about the verses in Habakkuk and greatly blessed Becca. *Jesus Loves Me, Great is Thy Faithfulness, Be Thou My Vision: We were blessed as a family to be able to gather around Becca’s bed at night and sing and pray for her for about a week before her home-going. We’d ask Gabi what she wanted to sing, and it was always Jesus Loves Me. It was the last song we saw Becca trying to sing along with us on. We also discovered that one of Becca’s very favorite hymns is Great is Thy Faithfulness. The morning of her home-going was very special. We all gathered around as a family to each share what we appreciated about her and telling our last goodbyes and releasing her. We also prayed and sang around her. Then Pastor and Marilyn blessed us by coming. After they had a time with her, Dustin went with them and others into the living room to talk. Brian and Noelle stayed by the bedside. At first, Noelle sat on the side Becca was turned to and talked to her soothingly, but Becca was still restless and had labored breathing. Then Noelle and Brian changed places. Noelle would sing a song while Brian would talk with Becca. Noelle said you could just see Becca relaxing more and more as her dad talked with her. As she was singing Be Thou My Vision and Brian was saying “Jesus loves you,” Becca slipped away from her earthly father to her Heavenly Father. Christie had come into the room and took a picture at the end of the bed of Brian talking to Becca just seconds before she passed on. It was a very special and touching moment. We praise God for our 33 years with Becca. Though our hearts seem to ache unbearably already with missing her “Yet we will rejoice in the Lord, we will joy in the God of our Salvation. The Lord God is our strength.” Becca, we love you. We know our life is but a vapor, and we’ll be seeing you soon. Prepare an incredible party for us all when we see you next time!