I opened the front cover of my Bible today to record the death of my sister: December 25, 2020 – Becky Costello. Above that: August 28, 2004 – Donald G. (Ike) Fairchild. It hurts to write that today, just as it hurt to record Dad’s death sixteen years ago. Further above that, I have recorded: December 29, 1996 – Donald G. Fairchild baptized. And above that: May 3, 1977 – received Christ – my own conversion. Aside from my Bible, my sister’s life will be recorded no further than the obituary pages of the local newspapers, but the impact that she has had on our family is profound.
Becky embraced Jesus Christ as her savior at a young age, long before anyone else in the family became a committed Christian. Over the years as we grew up, she never flaunted her faith with a sense of superiority. Nor did she pressure others to follow her convictions. However, her faith was an abiding testimony to our family that there is a God and that Jesus Christ is the way of salvation. In squabbles and disputes, the rest of the family would sometimes question her Christian faith to belittle, discredit or manipulate Becky’s views and concerns. She always represented Christ with distinction, even if we disagreed with her.
When I committed my life to Christ, there were many factors that led to that decision, not the least of which was Becky’s faith and the truth of the Gospel as it was manifest in her life. In the years thereafter, Dad and others in our family made the same decision. I am sure Becky was instrumental in affecting those decisions as well. The influence she exerted on all of us was bigger than she knew.
My sister’s passing was a shock to all of us. – a victim of Covid. I talked with her six days before her death and she knew she had the disease. I tried to call on Christmas Eve and had no response. I tried again on Christmas day with the same result. Moments afterwards, her daughter Andrea called with the news of her passing. Sometime later, I noticed that I had a text from Becky: “I’m [Covid] positive. Just too sick to talk. Sorry.”
There were tears in my eyes as I closed the Bible. I don’t like to show my emotions to others, so I went to the other room to hide it from Darlene and our children. I don’t often look at that page because of the memories that it brings. But, I realize that I will open that cover again to record more deaths. I wonder, will anyone record my name when I die? When I’m dead and gone, I hope they record my name in God’s Book of Life. I’m sure Becky’s name will be there just a few lines above mine. I love you sis. Always have and always will.