March is a month of precious memories for our family – the March 8th memorial of Papa’s passing, Mama’s March 15th birthday, and their March 17th anniversary.
Every day I thank God for the gift of their lives, the legacy of their love and faithfulness – how Mama took such tender care of Papa through 28 years of quadriplegia in their 58-year marriage, and how Papa loved her so tenderly. He whispered “sweet everythings” to her so often the mush police ran out of ticket paper!
We rejoice that they are together with Jesus in the Presence of Everlasting Love, but we miss them. Lots! We are grateful for the love of Jesus they shared with us and so many.
‘Cause that’s the thing about Papa, he tended hearts for the Kingdom planting seeds of love, the agape kind, and nurtured their growth.When people walked in the door, they felt loved. “How are you, really?” And, he really wanted to know.
Papa was not one for harsh judgment. He liked to get people into the Word of God, and see God at work, changing hearts, changing lives. He called himself a “sweet little ‘ole brown-eyed pastor.”
Although he couldn’t move anything (even to wipe his nose) he had such gratitude. Not a day went by he didn’t thank us profusely and tell us how much he loved us.
Mama was a steel magnolia, fragile like fine china on the outside but steely strong inside with faithfulness, love, determination, and joy. She sacrificed so much. An accomplished violinist when she met Papa, she put her violin away when she started having us five kids. She would take it out on special occasions, but severe rheumatoid arthritis curtailed her playing in later years.
Mama poured her life out from the deep well of God’s love in her heart that overflowed with generous compassion and care for others. She served selflessly. She loved and lived with unswerving steadfast devotion. She encouraged and inspired others. She gave of herself generously.
Papa and Mama were like glue stuck together, but oh what fun they had together! Singing hymns at the top of their lungs every morning with worship music blasting, they did love and joy on a daily basis amidst challenging circumstances.
Isaiah 40:27-31 is referenced on their gravestone – not just because Papa loved eagles, but as he and Mama became weaker and weaker, the spirit of God soared and did truly amazing things through them.
“Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God?’ Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
As Papa and Mama soar with Jesus in Heaven, March memories fill my heart with legacies of their love, faithfulness and grace.
grace, peace & March memories
Virginia : )