I haven’t been around the blog post for quite a while. The last few weeks were very consuming – time-consuming, emotion consuming, faith consuming. Wait, make that faith fortifying because even through the darkness we had trying to consume us, there is a Light. And there is truth in the adage that Light shines greater in darkness.
We laid Bessie Delrie to rest today. Maybe you read my past post about her. If you didn’t, you need to know that she is my God-mother and her husband, Jack, my God-father. She died last week from lung cancer. Until almost the very end, she had a full presence of mind which is really kind of scary, isn’t it? Well, that she was. She admitted to being afraid and I don’t blame her. Her faith was strong and she shared it well but fear of the unknown had a huge effect on her. She wasn’t afraid to die, not at all. She was afraid of the physical aspects of it; not being able to breathe, choking, bodily systems shutting down, and so forth. Thankfully, God in His mercy protected her and she found the peace she needed. But she didn’t go down without a fight; her heart beat for a full fifteen minutes after she took her last breath! I’ve never seen that before, but the hospice nurse said it happens from time to time. That is so Bessie!
During the last weeks of her decline, her home was filled with people. They dropped out of the woodwork, so to speak, to have one last conversation and smile with Bessie. The effort was well worth it and spoke of how beloved she is. If you knew Bessie, chances are you were loved by her. Therefore, you were the recipient of her warm smile, gleeful laughter, sly joke, and if you deserved it, a well-placed thump on the back of your head. She was something else. She could be loud and aggressive at times and proudly practiced her uncanny aim by sending an errant remote control or bottle of Jergan’s lotion flying across the room. She nearly always found her mark, as her husband Jack can attest to. I have heard him joke that he had to sleep under an umbrella to ward off a middle-of-the-night attack in case she needed something. But it was just that – joking, maybe a little sarcasm thrown in, that kept these two going. They were married for 68 years. Even in the days before she died, she still reached for him and he always came: “Daddy loves you, Momma” and “Momma loves you, Daddy”. I was witness to their love talk many times. It is a wonderful thing to know that at age 85 and 89 years, love carries on.
She left a huge family behind; 2 sons, 2 daughters, 6 grandkids, 7 great grandkids, to say nothing of the droves of people who claim her family as their own, including me. The whole clan welcomes and loves anybody who wants to join them. They had a good teacher. Dang it, I’m going to miss her but it was a privilege to be such an intimate part of her passing. I am honored that she wanted me there. It makes me want to be a better person.
Eternal peace grant unto her, O Lord, and may your perpetual light shine upon her.