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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Good bye, Wendy

I have absolutely no idea how to start this post.

Wendy was a unique person. I remember the first time I met her, at a friend's house in Destin, Florida. I remember she was so loving and warm to me right away. As I got to know her more, it was humorous how she would occasionally apologize for Don with a funny "I'm sorry, I tried" when he would occasionally come out with a sarcastic comment (for those of you who know Don well, you know that he would of course never dream of being sarcastic LOL).

Quickly, I realized that if it had been within her power, she would have given me the moon. I have never met a more generous person in my life. And I was one of the blessed recipients. To this day, my favorite dress to wear on Easter is one that she gave me. She had bought it at Talbots. It is white with pink flowers.
She loved going shopping... more than I did I'm afraid. She could out shop me any day of the week. She was constantly thinking of things that I would like, or that the kids would like, or things that I needed for the house. Sometimes she would give me gift cards for special occasions, because she wanted to be sure that I got something that I really wanted.

During one of the first outings that I had-- just her and me together -- I was struck by the fact that in mid conversation, she paused to tell God that we needed a parking place. Within seconds, we were pulling into a prime spot.  

Some of the things that she gave the kids, we still have and cherish. She was particularly good at picking out educational toys like puzzles and games. I still have the Hooked on Phonics learning system that she got for Jon David and Luke. I used it to teach both of them how to read! I look forward to using it with Caleb in a year.

She came to help us move every single time until she got sick. And for those of you who know us, and know how many times we have moved, you know that this is no small feat. She came to every one of our children's birthdays for as long as she was able. Even last year, for Caleb's 2 year old birthday in August, she was there.

During the time that she was well, when she came for a visit, I never had to worry about laundry or washing the dishes. She had that covered.

She left many pieces of herself with us...  Christmas countdown calendars; nativity sets; my new found awareness of dirty baseboards; a love for cleanliness... a heart for the broken.

Since her death a little over three months ago, I have found myself thinking of her during certain conversations. Occasionally, a person will have a particular hurt, and I can't help but think of Wendy, and how she would have honed in on that person in a heart beat.

Sometimes I think of her in heaven, and it brings me joy. And then sometimes I wonder if she can see me all the time. Sometimes, I hope she doesn't. I hope that her image of her "wonderful daughter-in-law" is not foiled by seeing the real me, the me that looks at myself in the mirror too long on some days, or who gives in to her children to a fault, or the me who lets my house go... I get embarrassed when I think about her seeing things like that. So maybe that's not how it works in heaven.

I hope that she is flying free in the arms of Jesus. Actually, I more than hope, I believe it.

Our church just finished putting on another VBS this year. One of my favorite songs that we learned is an old one revived: I'll fly away. I know Wendy as flown away to glory. Sometimes, I wish that we could just skip part of this life and be there with her. But God must have a pretty cool reason for not letting us do that. Yes, Lord, I will wait here on earth to find out what that reason is.

In the meantime, with God's help, Jon David, Luke, and Caleb will have to learn to go on living without "Grandma", I will have to go on living without a mother-in-law, and Don will have to go on living without a mother.

I hope that we can honor her life during the rest of ours. I love you, Wendy. I miss you very much.
Jesus, help us.


  1. I'm sure that you miss such a wonderful Mother-in-Law, but what a BLESSING to know that you'll meet again someday. Lord, come quickly!!

  2. Ok, so I just read Sarah's post in the school library and it for sure made me cry, and then I follow it up with that! New policy: read blogs in the privacy of my own home. That was such a beautiful remembrance of Wendy, and exactly how I remember her too. What a great woman and warrior she was and is. I think if she can see you Anna, she sees what God sees, which is the image of Jesus. I just wish we could see ourselves like that.

  3. very nice tribute Anna. Love ya!

  4. Something about your words, always touch me so much. I guess it is because I really respect you and your family. Thinking of you right now.

  5. What a sweet tribute. I know Wendy is even more proud of you now as she has become one in your cloud of witnesses. And so what if our loved ones can see our faults? They stand in the presence of Love and now only look with eyes of love.

    Her seed lives on in her son as well as her grandsons. And the fruit is sweet!



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