I first "met" Kristy Dykes via the Internet. I can't recall the exact reason, but we wound up exchanging emails and comments on each other's blogs. Then I decided to do some "all-redhead, all-the-time" author interviews, and Kristy was one of the first people I asked. We ran into each other a number of times at conferences, and even when she was surrounded by friends she'd see me and call, "Hello, Dr. Richard." I could never convince her that I was just plain "Richard." It had to be "Dr. Richard." Now I cherish that title.
Her emails always began with "Greetings from Sunny Florida." Her smile could light up any room. And she always had a kind word for her "hero," her husband Milton. I know how important the support of a spouse is, and Milton filled that role in spades.
When we learned that Kristy had been diagnosed with a very aggressive form of malignant brain tumor, it was like one of our own family had been stricken. Kristy chronicled her journey in her blog, and when she was no longer able to do that, Milton took over and kept us informed.
I am painfully aware of what it means to lose a wife, to sit at a bedside when hope is all but gone, and I can empathize with Milton in his loss. Over a year ago, I sent Kristy a copy of my book, The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse for Milton to use when counseling church members who had lost a loved one. I was pleased when she told me how much she liked the writing. Although none of us had any idea it would be so applicable to his own situation, I'm glad he has it. I hope it ministers to him.