precious memories

Monday, June 2, 2014

As I travel on life's pathway
I know not what the years may hold
And as I ponder, hope grows fonder
Precious mem'ries floods my soul.

Precious mem'ries how they linger
How they ever flood my soul
In the stillness of the midnight
Precious, sacred scenes unfold...

Just go to YouTube and watch Alan Jackson's version of "Precious Memories", one of Chad's grandma's favorite songs. It always brings tears to my eyes and my mother-in-law can play it on the piano (and did at grandma McClain's funeral yesterday) like none other. 

This incredibly strong, yet sweet as sugar (her nickname was "sweet thang" if that tells ya anything), loving woman fought the good fight and went to be with the Lord at 3am Saturday morning and now precious memories will forever fill our hearts.

She was surrounded by her four children, six grandchildren, and five great-grandsons for two weeks as she went through her journey from this life to be with the Lord. I have visited Barbara Ann's house for fifteen+ years now since I first became friends with her granddaughter Holly. Not knowing I would end up marrying her grandson Chad, Barbara Ann always treated me as one of her own and I felt nothing but love from the moment I walked in the door. She always made me feel at home.

I am honored to be a part of such a special, close knit family and have especially learned in the past few days that family...and a few loving, precious friends that have been there for us during this time...
is really all you need in life!

True treasures, I tell ya.

chad and his grandma at our wedding
papa doug (who passed in 2009) and grandma 
Having lost all four of my grandparents, Barbara Ann and Chad's other two grandparents - Jack and Frieda Newell - have truly been just like grandparents to me. I am so glad that Cade has gotten to know some of his great-grandparents, but explaining death and heaven to my two year old has been difficult. Cade has been over at grandmamas so many nights these past few weeks and on Saturday evening when we went to be with the family again, he got all excited and said "I'm going see grandmama give her kisses, make her feel beeeeetter!" which is what he would say every night on way to see her. I had to explain to him that on this particular day, grandmama had went to heaven with Papa Doug, "Pop-Pop" (what we've started calling my daddy), Uncle Brian, cousin Drew...etc...and JESUS! He repeated everyone's names, nodded his head as I explained heaven to him, then said "Mama I want Jesus come pick me up"

Death is real. It's inevitable. I've looked it in the face many times and literally seen it take a loved one right there from me in one single last breath. The only peace and hope we have is the assurance of death taking us to a better place far beyond anything our dreams can ever imagine. Grandma McClain is no longer suffering and is in a much better place, reunited with loved ones in heaven... even though we certainly will miss her oh so much.

Grandmama and her third great-grandson, Carter, at his first birthday. One of my all time favorite photos of her.
It was always so obvious that she loved her family more than anything in this world. The words spoken at her funeral were so beautiful, I only hope and pray that my life is a testimony of love, faith, and family like hers. 

Please keep this precious family in your prayers in the days ahead!!

(P.S. Also pray for Chad's Aunt Laura's father who was air lifted to Greenville on Saturday when he was in a motorcycle wreck. What a weekend it has been for that family. Thank you in advance for all of the prayers!)

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