My Tribute To My Sister; Lynnette Delores Rochester – 1959 – 2013

It’s hard to believe that my sis departed this life to be with Jesus, but as David said to Solomon “I go the way of all the earth.”

With me not accepting this just yet, a few weeks before, I preached the Word of God to her about the woman with the flow of blood from Mark chapter 6. With the Word, it is never too late.

No, my sister didn’t have the same condition as the woman with the flow of blood.

My sister had cancer.

My sister never smoked but it was a rare form of cancer called spindle cell carcinoma.

I told her, “I will know that you have given up when you are not speaking faith in God’s Word.” It wasn’t a scare tactic or manipulation. If you want to “not die, but live, and declare the works the Lord has done,” you will stay in faith.

The thing that I will always remember when we were at Thomas Jefferson Hospital, was that a lady came into the room to see if Lynnette wanted someone to come in to sing and play guitar. Lynnette asked if he could he play gospel. She said that he might and went to get him. He came into the room eager to play and Lynnette asked him if he could play gospel on his guitar.

He said he couldn’t.

My sister and I laughed.

Then out of no where, Lynnette belted her second tune. While sitting up a little bit, she was able to sing, and not miss a note.

They were impressed, but (lol) they couldn’t play gospel. Needless to say, they never came back. They were done. lol.

Sadly in Philadelphia, it seems like the people are not into the Lord, but Lynnette left her testimony, that regardless of your condition, you can still sing to the Lord. It made me take note that we are living in a Godless society where death or situations leading to death is all too common. So common, that God is not sought to be found.

A couple of months before Lynnette departed, we were in ManorCare in Easton, PA. Lynnette asked my daughter to sing a tune. Sheryl hesitated for a moment and then she sang a tune. Sheryl sang and then Lynnette sang, “Maker Of The Heavens.”

It would be the last time they would sing or at least hear each other sing together.

Lynnette told Sheryl to always have a song in her heart.

When I went to ManorCare to see Lynnette, week before she passed, that night, they rushed her to St. Luke’s hospital because she needed a blood transfusion. I wasn’t informed that they rushed her to St. Luke’s.

The cancer was eating up the protein from the last supply of the transfusion. To boot, the infections were becoming a major issue so the doctors were trying to treat the infection, maintain blood pressure, and manage her pain. Juggling this became a balancing act that may cause more harm instead of giving her quality of life with the time she had left.

I had to go to work that day and Lynnette said the doctors needed to see me. They came into the room and told me that I have to decide whether to treat her infection or pain management. If they were to treat the infection, they may take her to ICU and she may never wake up. Tubes would be in her and that would be unbearable to watch. My mother went through the same procedure. ICU with tubes everywhere.

Evidently, I never made it to work. I was devastated because I knew what this meant.

I asked Lynnette what she wanted. She said to me, “No. I do not want the tubes.”

Lynnette and I discussed this further to clarify what her wishes were. That this was what she wanted.

On Saturday, June 15, at St. Luke’s Hospital in room 336, in Easton, PA, she looked at me. Barely able to talk. My wife and daughter was able to get her to speak the Word. She looked at me and said, “I will walk again.”

The caseworker came into the room to discuss hospice care. I’ve been down this path before with my dad and I knew that it was almost time. The radiation treatment was just a last ditch effort not to cure, but to give her more time with her son.

Of course, the radiation treatment proved to be more than she could bear.

As the caseworker was stroking Lynnette’s arm, Lynnette was sitting up and with her right hand that was attached to a morphine drip, she waved at me. You know……that up and down wave. Not the side to side wave. Side to side wave of the hand means “hi.”

She waved at me with an up and down wave.

I assumed she was saying “Hi” to me and I waved up and down and said, “Hi, sis.”

She didn’t look puzzled at me or anything but looking back at that moment, she meant something else.

Over and over again, she kept telling us….You are going to watch me die.

We told her no. But she knew more about what was to come than we would ever know.

I had to make a decision.

On the evening of June 15, we moved her from St. Luke’s Hospital to St. Luke’s Hospice for Acute Care.

Hospice is just a nice word to ease the fact that end of life is imminent. Thank God that we did have a little time though. I am grateful to the Lord for that.

We went home and came back to the hospice to see her and she looked at me, and said, “I know why I am here.” I said to her that “Don’t worry about that now.” It wasn’t hard for her to figure it out. We all must pass this way.

On Monday, June 17, an overwhelming peace from the presence of the Lord came into the car as I was driving home from work. I never had this experience from the Lord before and what took place was that the Lord was preparing me. I didn’t know it then but afterwards, it was the comfort and peace that I asked the Lord for on the day I cried like a baby in my car, that I would not have sis around.

For a while before she passed, her eyes were wide open. I should have known that she was about to go, but we hoped against hope.

Before we got to room number 7, she looked to heaven, and looked at her son. This she did twice.

You can’t make this up……Room number 7, she was entering heaven. A perfect room for a perfect departure, to meet her perfect God, to forever be in perfection.

Looking back at that moment when she looked to heaven and her son twice, she couldn’t talk, but she was telling her son that she was going to heaven. She wasn’t deciding to stay or to go, she was communicating as best she could that she was going to see Jesus.

I left music next to her ear. Yup, it was gospel.

My wife and I were in a waiting room talking and my daughter came in and said “She’s about to go.”

We ran to the room and she was about to depart.

As were were standing around her on Tuesday, with my daughter singing “For Your Glory,”

I cried out to her in tears.

“Lynnette, we are here.” Lynnette…..Lynnette……..sis.”

She was breathing her last and off she went at 6PM straight up.

God gave us a gift for us to remember. That Lynnette was a precious person, so full of the Lord and life. Some of you may not make it to be with them when they say their final goodbyes, but as she was waving to me at St. Luke’s Hospital, she was telling me “So long,” just in case.

On June 18, 2013, the day before my wedding anniversary, it was time. Yes, even on our wedding day back in 1982, Lynnette was there to sing for us. That’s why this will be a bitter sweet day. Bitter because she left us. Sweet because of the memories and more importantly, she is with Jesus.

If Lynnette were able to speak her final words, this is what I believe she would say…..

My Parting Words

by Pastor Fred Rochester, Copyright 2013, All Rights Reserved.

My time on earth is over for me.

No longer in pain, I am free.

I shed tears with you, but go I must.

I’m in heaven with Jesus, far beyond earth’s dust.

Absent from this body I am present with Him.

Singing my song, a grand ol’ hymn.

How Great Thou Art. How Great Thou Art.

O sing with me, you know the part.

How great is our God. Sing with me, how great is our God.

All will see how great, how great is our God!

If only you knew the peace in this place,

Glory to God, I’m before His face.

I’m with family and friends I haven’t seen for a while.

All wearing white. Yes, that’s my style.

My mansion made ready and with plenty of room.

For all that’s in heaven, there is no gloom.

Thanks for seeing me before I took flight.

Your lovely faces were a welcomed sight.

I’ll miss you all but only briefly.

For Jesus is soon to come, very quickly.

Remember the good times on earth, remember them all.

I enjoyed them with you, before my call.

In Christ we shall meet again, in God’s glory

provided you’ve obeyed the redemption story.

I ask of you, live free of sin,

for if you continue in sin, you will not get in.

As you can see, we are just passing through

If you are truly in Jesus, I expect to see you too.

So stay true to Jesus, with all sincerity.

So long my friends and family,

I love you all so, so very dearly.

Sis, I love you and even though it’s just been a few days…..I miss you.


Here is the link to her memorial if you wish to read her obituary or leave condolences for the family.

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