By John J. Duncan Jr.

My sweet, beautiful wife, Lynn, passed away on Sunday, August 1, and there are no words strong enough to express how much I am going to miss her.

I told her near the end that she had been my earthly angel and now she would be my heavenly angel.

Trudy Strange, a friend from Eastminster Church told me that she had called Lynn to tell her how sorry she was that Lynn had to go through so much pain and suffering. She said Lynn told her,“Trudy if I get well, I will still be here, and if I don’t, I will be in heaven, and either way, I will be fine.”

She was a woman of great faith and lived the words of Joshua 1:9 more than anyone I ever knew.

I wrote in her obituary that even though a major stroke had confined her to a wheelchair these last three years, and then cancer these last three months, she never uttered one word of self-pity, and never shed a tear, always more concerned about her family than herself.

Lynn was an amazing woman in so many ways. I have always heard that to have a friend, you have to first be a friend, and I have never known anyone who had more good friends than she did.

Trudy said she was “probably not one of Lynn’s favorites, but she always made me feel like I was.”

Her former secretary on the Tennessee Parole Board wrote Lynn one of the sweetest letters I have ever read and among other things said “you never made me feel inferior.”

Our son Zane said when he later became a member of the same board, one of the secretaries in Nashville told him “Oh, I loved your mother. She never made me feel inferior.”

How remarkable: two different women, in different years, in two different cities, unknowingly describing Lynn with the same words.

Because I was lucky enough to have the job I had, and because Lynn went with me to many places, she got to meet many Presidents and many other important people all over this country and even some around the world.

She treated everyone in her kind loving way, no matter who they were.

In these last three months, the only way that I could tell that Lynn was a little scared was that she wanted me with her all the time and wanted me to hold her hand.

A really wonderful hospice nurse crawled up on Lynn’s hospital bed one day and took a photograph just of our two hands joined together. Late that night, she sent me the picture and wrote that seeing our love and devotion to each other had restored her faith in humanity.

Like in any marriage, we sometimes got mad at each other, and, in some ways, we were very different, so our marriage was not always easy. But through it all, I loved her and she loved me, and we both knew we were blessed with a very special marriage.

I suppose you take your right arm for granted and don’t really appreciate it until you lose it. And even in the best of marriages, I suppose you usually take your spouse for granted.

I was certain that Lynn would outlive me and I did not appreciate her as much as I should have.

I loved her with all my heart. I only regret that I did not love her more.