My sister, Simone LeJeune, died on November 16.
She knew what it was like to feel distant from God. She also knew what it was like to have God wrap her up in his arms and console her, love her, and heal her.
Simone loved life before she got sick. If you ever met her, you wouldn’t forget her. She had a HUGE personality (she made me seem dull). This personality was either loved or hated by others because she could seem overwhelming and loud. You either couldn’t get enough or had too much of her at all times.
Simone was one of my heroes. She was a modern-day Mother Teresa. She worked in youth ministry, counseling, social work, and as a special ed. teacher. She worked with the severely disabled, the imprisoned, the elderly and those society gave up on.
About 12 years ago, Simone started working with a group of special-needs children living in a group home. She fell in love with all of them. Matthew was a 2 year-old in the home. He lived there until the caretaker of the home grew very ill and Matthew was going to be put into foster care. Simone knew he would probably bounce from foster-home to foster-home for years, because black toddlers with special needs rarely get adopted. So, she took him in and adopted him herself.
Simone befriended those most would reject. She met an elderly Jewish woman several years ago who lived in her apartment complex. This woman hadn’t left her apartment in years, so Simone and Matthew would go visit her, help her clean her apartment and bring her some human comfort. She left her apartment for the first time in years to come to Simone’s funeral. This woman was torn apart, because so very few people care about her and she lost one of the few who did.
Simone did retreats in prison for hardened convicts. She would get so excited to see the changes in men who had never known God’s love and forgiveness.
Simone would teach a wheelchair-bound child to feed themselves at age 14, when nobody else could seem to break through.
So, what gave her such a passion? She had the belief that God lived in every single person, loved us individually, died on the Cross for our sins, and had no greater desire than to have us love Him back.
Just go and read the rest. And remember this beautiful soul, and her family, in your prayers.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her…