Our Memaw was many things to many people. To students at American Christian School in the 60’s she was their K-4 teacher. To the students at Gateway in the 70’s she was the cook. To many children through the years she was Sunday school teacher, Vacation Bible School teacher, and camp cook. To many hurting people over the years she was the one who delivered flowers with a smile and a kind word to brighten their day and ease their pain.
Her home was a haven to those who needed it and provided family for those far away from their own. There was always room for one more at her table. Many ladies involved in Women National Active for Christ have heard her give book reviews, teach, and give various reports. Many missionaries counted on her for her faithful prayers on their behalf. She has arranged for many funeral meals and made many calls to her prayer chain to lift up the needs of others.
She was daughter to my Big Memaw and Grandpa, sister to Uncle Joe and Uncle Gary, sister-in-law to Emily, Elise, and Betty, Aunt Goodfellow to Jeff and Tim and Aunt Elizabeth to Rachel. She was Mom to Sandy, Tommy, and Jane, mother-in-law to Dari, Ralph, and Sue, husband and faithful caregiver to our Papa, and friend to many.
But, to me, her most important title was Memaw to her 7 grandchildren, their spouses, 20 great grandchildren and many of their friends. She was the lady who never missed a piano recital, birthday party, little league game, basketball game, or anything else we did within driving distance. The one who honestly believed her children and grandchildren were capable of absolutely anything…. our constant cheerleader and prayer warrior. When I think of her I think of…..
breakfasts at Shoney’s
lunch at Doumar’s
Sunday afternoon lunch at Picadilly, where jello was a must
the swimming pool in her back yard
metal pop top pudding cups that we only got at her house
buttermilk and lemon meringue pies
trips to the zoo
Going to Tides games
Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals games on television
fun in the motor home (complete with Tang)
trips to 7-11
jewelry, jewelry and more jewelry
the shoppin’ centah
her pocketbook in the crook of her arm
corsages on Easter and Mother’s Day
the jitterbug and the twist
ditch jumping-she was the champion in her day
spaghetti and meatballs
chicken & dumplings
Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion
oreos (we got to have 5 at her house but we only got 2 or 3 at home)
And admonition and a kiss
My cousin Debra added: When I was little and Sherry lived with them, I was sent to go take my Saturday night bath and told, “Go take a bath and don’t touch anything.” That was the surest way for me to touch something…. I thought I could be cool like Sherry and shave my legs, but in my inexperience, I cut my legs to pieces and screamed loud enough to wake the dead. Memaw came running and quietly got me cleaned up and bandaged up and told me to get dressed and come to her chair in the living room. When I got there, she sat me on the footstool in front of her and opened her Bible and read Numbers 32:23b “…and be sure your sins will find you out.” Followed by a mini sermon and a big hug. This exact scenario is a perfect example of how she loved me. There was always a lesson, followed up with lots of love. That kind of love has sustained me through the years, and has influenced how I tried to love my children. Her influence over me is lasting.
My cousin Adam added: I remember a tear-soaked door panel cause i wanted to go stay the night so bad,
watching wrestling with papa, (memaw liked it too ;-), Sunday lunch with grandpa after church, doing a terrible job washing dishes and cutting the grass, but getting paid anyway and wrecking her car my first night driving by myself, and her just being concerned if i was ok.
All of these are wonderful memories of a precious lady. However, there is something way more important that she would want everyone to know. Her greatest desire was that those she loved would be with her in heaven one day. She prayed for that for those she loved….daily. Being loved and prayed for by her was a precious treasure. While flowers and memorial gifts are a sweet and thoughtful tribute to her, a greater tribute would be for someone to give their life to Christ as a result of her life and testimony. There is nothing that she would want more.