Yesterday one of my elderly friends died peacefully during her afternoon nap. Her godly husband was napping in a chair next to her. When he awoke she was as the apostle Paul said, “absent from the body but present with the Lord.”
Our last conversation together was during a painful period of her life. We sat in her den while she chipped cabbage for cole slaw. She was chipping the cabbage finely and uniformly. When I asked why she cut it just so, she said it was the way her husband liked it. I think that summarizes the woman I knew. She served.
My first memories of her was when I was seventeen. I met her in the parking lot of a church with a bunch of teenagers. She was all smiles and helping with the organization of a trip. She was also making her fourteen year old son behave, almost an impossible task, except for her.
She was very talented. I’m not much on organs, but when she played one, you tapped your foot and clapped your hands. It was not mournful but happy. She enjoyed playing for her church.
She owned a bookstore back before there was a Barnes and Noble or Borders. I remember walking through the store with her on the Main Street of their small Georgia city. Happy, helpful and a living example of a Proverbs 31 wife, mother, businesswoman and follower of Jesus Christ.
Oh, could she cook! I was always happy to be at her table. You just couldn’t get enough of her cookin’. She was the ideal cook that Food Network TV was looking for when it came to Southern Cuisine.
Most of all she loved Jesus and the church. I loved her. Her husband and children are among some of my most cherished friends.
Her son called me last night and said, “My mother only lied about one thing, her age. We don’t know how old she is.” I told him it wasn’t a lie, she just didn’t tell him. It was any of his business how old she was.” We laughed.
One more reminder for me to live fully, passionately and shower people with the love of Christ. Life is short!
“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:115 (NIV)