A few months ago a friend contacted me and said, “Gina, I met a woman last week and the two of should meet.” My friend connected the two of us via e-mail and a few weeks later we were sitting face-to-face.
When we first met, we both smiled, and said the normal, “So nice to meet you!” and sat down. Within a minute she started talking and said that she was glad we got to meet before she moved back home. When I asked her where “home” was— she replied, “Grass Valley.” I couldn’t believe that she was from Northern California, because that is the town in which I lived for nearly 19 years. I then said, “Are you kidding me? That’s where I’m from.”
Within a moment she started crying and said, “Now, don’t do anything, but I’m going to get up and come over to you and give you a hug!” I stood up and watched as her tears got closer to me. She then hugged me and then sat down. “You’re Gina Gippner, aren’t you?”
“Well, I used to be. I’m Gina Woods now. Do I know you?”
“Gina, my son was Lance Corporal John Lucente, and was killed November of 2005, while defending our freedom. You made me my comfort quilt and helped with my son’s funeral.”
There were no words to describe that moment. The two of us sat there in awe of the fact that a friend knew the two of us should meet. I then told her that I couldn’t believe that God would arrange such a meeting. The two of us had not seen each other since the funeral that was six years prior, and that day we were sitting face-to-face!
Then I told her that her son was in a book I had written. At first she didn’t believe me, so she gave me a ride home, and I handed her the book. To see the face of a woman I had only met once, see that her son wasn’t forgotten, was a day that I will never forget.
When my son was in the Marines I wrote a book titled, “Onward by Faith: A Mother’s Journey to Iraq and Back.” Within the book were pictures of hundreds of Marine mothers and their Marines, and my journal of what it felt like to be a mother of a Marine who was serving so far from home.
The ups and downs that go with sending a child off to war are unbearable at times, and as we were talking she said something that I will never forget. “You know Gina… everyone needs to know someone like me!”
I would like to introduce everyone who reads this to Kristine Mason. Kristine was right. Everyone should know someone who has lost someone who has died for our country, has served our country, or is serving our country.
Today is Veteran’s Day. A day where we honor those who serve our country, and that is why I’m sharing the story of how I met Kristine, and the value of what she said.
I believe that’s God’s message too when He shares His son. “Everyone should know Jesus!”
Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.” Matthew 22:29
My prayer is that everyone will go and meet someone like Kristine Mason, and the Blue Star Mothers of America.
Mother’s are the ones who give up the best of what we give birth to, so freedom will continue to ring.
And to Kristine, “It’s been a blessing to know you. What an incredible woman you are. I promise I will never forget John!”
ONWARD BY FAITH!