I awoke this morning to my husband coming up the steps saying "Kelly's at the hospital in labor"! The kids are all excited because cousin Rylnn is about to make her entrance into this world and we couldn't be happier! I am getting the kids all ready for school and then it hit me….what happened on this day.
On this day…the sweetest woman I have been blessed to know was born…and I couldn't think of a better day for sweet Rylnn to be born. My MaMa(my Mom's Mom) was born on the 1st of October…well not really, but that is when we celebrated it. After my PaPa had died, I took her to the bank to get some things out of her safe deposit box and I found her Birth Certificate. I looked at it and it said October 2nd….I said "MaMa, I thought your birthday was on the 1st?". She said "it is". I looked again and sure enough it was the 2nd…at 12:0something a.m.…she was born right after the strike of midnight and I guess her family just decided to celebrate on that day…her entire life. Is that funny or what? It still makes me laugh to think about that day in the bank when she learned her birthday was another day.
Gertrude Christine Flora Overfelt was just such an unbelievable woman…so full of love and graciousness. MaMa was so much a part of my life from the time I can remember. She went on vacations with us, we were together EVERY holiday, she went to all of my ballgames (and even cheered for me when I was on the bench), I would go eat lunch with her when I was in college (her and PaPa only lived about 2 miles from Liberty), and I had the privilege and honor of taking care of her after my PaPa died.
We had so much fun together…we would go to lunch, sit on the porch and drink coffee, I went to her church senior functions with her, took her to visit family, to Dr's appointments(the Dr's got sick of me asking questions), we hung with my sister and her boys…I just remember so many things. I would give her a bath in the mornings and fix her hair "just so"…she always wanted to look put together! She loved John Rocker when he played for the Braves and she would stay up and watch the games until the very end when he would come in. She would say "here comes that John Rocker". It would be midnight and I would tell her to go to bed and she would tell me she had to stay up and see him finish the game out. I think she liked him because he was cute…but whatever! When she met my husband(to be at that time) Ric she just welcomed him in…and called him Rex because she couldn't remember his name…and my family still calls him that to this day!
She was just a joy to have around and I loved being with her. I was a 24 year old girl hanging out with a 70 something year old lady and I was happy. She taught me so many things that year. I was with her when she grieved PaPa's death…she would just sit and cry and I would hug on her and tell her it was ok. She missed him so much it literally hurt her heart. We would listen to her favorite music on her CD player in her room (the one my daughter has today) and she had me read her bible to her every day. She loved Jesus! I remember growing up that her goal in life was to have us all at church on Sundays. She asked every Saturday if we were going and would even bribe me into spending the night with her so I had to go to church on Sunday with her….she cared about her family's eternal destination…and wasn't ashamed of that, nope, not one bit.
Around the spring time (she had been with us since September) things started going downhill so fast. Her dementia was getting worse and there were nights that she thought I was trying to kill her…she didn't know who I was sometimes…she was confused…and her body just started to shut down. After many months of struggling, my folks had to make the decision to put in her in full time care. She was a danger to herself and we could not provide her the nursing care she needed. We cried…oh how we cried. It was such a hard thing to do. We would all go sit with her and Mom was there every day to feed her lunch and dinner. I remember getting ready on my wedding day feeling such a void in my life…she wasn't there that day. The happiest day of my life and the woman who had been such a big part of my life couldn't be there. Mom gave me diamond earrings that morning…from MaMa and a sweet card saying "I know she wanted to see this day". I knew that I was moving away and wouldn't get to see her as much and that made my heart hurt.
She hung on for another 2 years. I introduced my newborn son to her on a cool day in October and she just smiled at him. Even when the dementia continued to take her mind she never forgot how to love…and she still sang praises to Jesus. She went to be with Jesus on Valentine's Day in '03…the winter I was pregnant with Addie. I was at my folks the morning they called with the news…what a sad day it was…but we knew that MaMa was in glory and for that we thanking God. We knew that dementia no longer had her mind…that her body was no longer suffering…that she was finally healed and whole!
Her funeral was a testament to the lady she was…full of God's love and His grace. Her grandchildren stood before the crowd that snowy day and shared her favorite verses…we sang her favorite songs…and we remembered the woman that she was and the legacy she has left behind. My prayer is that one day when I am old and gray, that I look behind me and see the same kind of legacy. She forever impacted my life…and I will forever be grateful.