You are never ever ready for the phone call, text, or e-mail which cuts like a knife through your soul announcing the death of a loved one. One such came to me last night after church as I reached to check my phone as I had so many times over the last few days just waiting for the much not wanted news. “Mema passed away around 5:30 today.” As I sat in the drive-thru of McDonalds with only three of the four of my children with me, I just sat in astonishment. Around 5:15-5:20 p.m. I was driving to church and my thoughts had turned towards my Mema and my aunt and uncle who were carrying for her. I lifted them up in prayer and considered if I would have the chance to make one last trip for her birthday this Wednesday if she were to live until then. Now here it was 7:30 p.m. and God through His infinite wisdom had prompted me to pray for them at the time He was calling her home.
Scott and Hannah had a meeting to attend and did not arrive home until shortly before 9:00 p.m. It was then that we were all gathered in the living room and I shared with them the loss of their Mema. Tears began to fall, but I had the great privilege of sharing with them how faithful God had been to us through her life and through the time I was able to spend with her just this past Thursday. God so graciously allowed me to comfort them and myself with the knowledge of knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt her love for us and sweet memories will forever be with us.
I had received an e-mail last Tuesday evening stating she had had a stroke and was not doing well. I had already been trying to make plans to visit her the following Wednesday for her birthday, but felt an extremely heavy burden to go see her this past week. Our Wednesday had already been planned for us (another heart-wrenching gracious God story) so Thursday was the soonest I could get over there. My dad agreed to go with me and so we departed Tomball around 7:00 that morning. I had been told she was in a non-responsive state for the most part and she probably would not recognize us. We arrived shortly after 10:30 a.m. and after stretching our legs and taking a bathroom break my dad and I entered the room. My dad announced we were there and my sweet Mema continued to sleep. She looked so peaceful. Thinking I would only be able to talk to her without her response, I grabbed her hand, leaned over her and shed tears as I told her how much I loved her. I then began to pray out loud. I was compelled to. I don’t know why or what I even prayed except I heard myself saying how thankful I was for her life. As I closed my prayer and said Amen, I heard my dad’s amen and began to rise up. Before I even rose all the way up, my Mema’s eyes met mine! I quickly told her who I was and she smiled that wonderful smile as her eyes lit up just like they did every time she saw me and the kids when we would come to visit. I told her dad was there and she looked over at him. She tried to speak but we could not understand. She closed her eyes and yawned. We stood there a little longer and she opened her eyes once again. I told her I had to go as I knew she was tired, but it seemed as though she wanted us to stay. I kissed her forehead and told her I loved her. I walked out of her room utterly astounded at God’s goodness, kindness, and love for me as He allowed such a precious time with her. Before we left to come back to Tomball, I stole one more trip to her room to kiss her on her forehead and tell her goodbye as she slept.
My children have such wonderful memories of their Mema too, especially our last trip to see her in Rockport. We always enjoyed stopping in at her home in Sunrise beach either before or after the kids Preteen Camp. We would stay a night or too and spend some time out on the lake by her house. Of course she would always have a dessert she had just “thrown together” for us. The last one she made for us was a cherry apple crumble and I have the recipe since she gave it to me. However, she did throw it together as she took two different recipes and put them together to come up with what she made. Now I shall never get mine to taste like hers!!
She loved her great-grandchidlren and always had plenty of hugs and kisses for all of them every time we saw her.
While our Mema will be so missed her love and laughter will forever remain in our hearts. Memories of shopping on every birthday, homemade coconut cream pies, weekend barbecues at her house, Christmas, golf cart rides up and down the hill to the pier, fishing, laughing, visits to her house and her visits to ours, Scott bouncing her off the boat seat, watching Fox news, and so many more remain forever in our minds. But the two that stand out the most is when Rochelle and I last minute rented that 12 passenger van and took all her great-grandchildren to see her and then of course that precious time God allowed me to have with her this past Thursday.
I love you Mema. Lord thank you so much for her life and the loving impact she has had on her family.
“God, Your way is holy. what god is great like God?
You are the God who works wonders; You reveled Your strength among the peoples.”