You're never ready to say goodbye.  Even if you're expecting death and the approach of it has been looming for a few weeks, you're never *really* ready to say goodbye.  Our family had to let go of someone very special to us last night.  I love her.  We will miss her.

She had the most penetrating, pale blue eyes.  When you spoke, she was listening but her eyes were reading you.  She saw you.  Around the edges of her eyes she had the slightest squint that reminded me of her father.   His squint came from years of riding his tractor in the sun, hers came from discerning what you said.  Her face was full and round and her thin smile looked a whole lot like her younger two sisters.  She was a little bossy but in a loving, warm, Italian mother sort of way.  She had her own ideas about what and how something needed to be done.  She would tell you to go to the doctor and see about what needed seeing about, but if you asked her if she was going, she'd dismiss it with a wave and shake her head no.  She was fine, just fine.  She could sum up and solve your problems with just a few words of instruction but she didn't have any problems that you needed to worry about.

She worked long past her retirement age as if it were merely a suggestion to stop working and go out and enjoy life.  But working was her life and she lived it to the fullest.  She was a favorite among her co-workers.  She knew more than someone as just a person, she knew their family, asked about sick children or aging parents.  She knew more than just a name.  She knew their story.  But she wasn't a gossip.  She knew about people because she took the time to ask.  She cared.  She remembered all of them with gifts - every occasion.  She was thoughtful.  She was generous.  Maybe too generous, because she gave something away of her own to nearly everyone.  It was in her nature to give and we loved her unselfish heart. 

Kindness and generosity didn't seem to come from her, it seemed to pass through her.  It flowed like an endless stream.  For so many years before her health faded to what it was, just a few weeks before Christmas, I could look forward to a card, a handwritten note - complimenting my beautiful family, and then including a check for $100. Every time she sent one, I would write a thank you note telling her what a blessing it was.  But I don't think she ever knew how much it helped.  My children were babies and I was a stay-at-home mom only working part time.  Her money would either buy groceries for the week, or clothes or presents for the children.  She never gave it another thought, but her generosity carried our young family during a time we could use it.

She had four children each named for a person in the Bible.  She and I share the same middle family name.  We come from a deep rooted family in Western North Carolina knitted together with religion and love. 

God.  Family.  Friends. Work. She served all of them well. 

We will miss her more than the mountains have hills.

Seeds to Share:

Psalm 121:1-2 - I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.