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  • kendalllasseigne

Be the Light of Christ

Some people come into our lives that make an everlasting impact on us.   Their joy and presence permeate our hearts, and we become better people by knowing and interacting with them.  I recently lost such a person over the Christmas holidays.  My dear friend Roberta “Bobbie” Torguson.

I first met Bobbie in 2015, when we both attended a retreat put on by our church parish.  I was fortunate to have Bobbie as my roommate for that weekend.  Her beautiful smile and overflowing joy drew me to her instantly.  Each time she spoke with me, she made me feel as though I was the only person in the room.  Every evening during the retreat, Bobbie and I would stay up talking about what happened that day.  We talked about how powerfully the Holy Spirit was touching our hearts.  I remember coming home and telling my husband what a beautiful soul Bobbie was and how happy I was to know her.

Two months later after returning from the retreat, Bobbie was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.   They call this the “silent killer” as it's very difficult to detect and when found is often very advanced.  I remember the day she told me at church, and that she had already scheduled her first treatment.  I was devastated yet Bobbie was very optimistic.  I felt so helpless, but I did what I could.  I began to pray, and I brought her some holy water that I got in Lourdes.   I told her to bring it with her to all her treatments and bless herself with it.  Bobbie gave me the biggest hug.  She said she didn’t know what God’s plans were for her, but she was praying for healing and placing her trust in Jesus.

The next day, she sent me a picture of herself receiving her first treatment.   She had the biggest smile on her face, the holy water was on the table of her treatment chair, and she had a big thumbs up.  The message said, “We’ve got this!  I used your healing water!”

That was the beginning of a long eight-year journey for Bobbie, which in and of itself was a miracle to survive this type of cancer that long.  No matter how bad things got or how good they were going, I always saw Bobbie with a smile on her face saying, “I am so blessed.”  It often felt that when the cancer was at its worst, Bobbie was most joyful.  That was how it appeared to me.  Whenever we texted, she always thanked me for my prayers and assured me that she was in God’s hands and was blessed.

Recently I heard Fr. Mike Schmitz on a podcast saying that God calls us to fill a need when we see a need.   Bobbie was the first person who came to mind when I heard this.  She was the epitome of seeing a need and filling a need always with a joyful smile.   

She started a ministry at our church called “Hands with Heart”.  The ministry focuses on people undergoing cancer and other illnesses.  They make prayer blankets, comfort pillows, small fabric hearts for people to hold in their hands for comfort and other items.  

COVID arrived on the scene and Bobbie was the first to tell our Pastor, “I know what we are going to do.  We are going to make masks for everyone and hand them out.”  Our pastor said this was even before masks became required.

Bobbie was an original member of our women’s share group, Blessed Is She.  We started during COVID and continue to meet weekly via Zoom.   Bobbie attended almost every week even when she traveled to Wisconsin for the summer.    It never failed that Bobbie was askng us to pray for someone else, saying they needed the prayers so much more.  And always ending with “I am so blessed.”  So often Bobbie would shoot me a quick text, thanking me for leading the share group, and would say, “Thank you for building His Kingdom.”   She extended invitations to other women to join our group and we have continued to grow.

Bobbie’s cancer returned last year, and in July I received another text from her saying, “Off to my first chemo.  I am going fully armored.  I have blessed myself with your holy water from Lourdes.  Thank you, dear Kendall, my sister in Christ.”

I would get news that Bobbie was very ill from her treatments and the next day I would see her in daily mass- just smiling.   You would never know she was so ill. 

Sadly, Bobbie lost her battle with cancer on December 26, 2023.  Bobbie tackled her cancer, in and out of remission, a great example, in my opinion, as a saint here on earth.  She tried every day to be thankful and spread God’s love to all she met.  Isn’t this what God calls us to do?  Her faith and joy never waivered and she never failed to tell everyone “I am so blessed.”

I can honestly say that I am a better person for having known Bobbie. She set a wonderful example of being the light of Christ to everyone.   I have tried to imitate her especially whenever I face illness or adversity.  I have a long way to go.

Let us begin today with a joyful and thankful heart for all the blessings God gives us, seen and unseen.  Let us be the first to fill a need when we see a need.  Let us pray that we too can be the light of Christ and point others to Jesus as Bobbie did for me.


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"Written from the heart,

Inspired by the Soul"

I invite you to spend time with God in your own "Inner Room."

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