Thursday, December 17, 2015

Peace for a Princess

One of her watercolors.
At 5 years old my father was playing football in the living room with his sister. A perfect place for young siblings to play. Like any football player in training, mistakes happen. My dad’s shoe went flying off through the glass french door. As his father was replacing the glass he asked if he was going to get arrested. Before he had an answer his older sister piped in, “If he goes to jail, I am going with him!”  Oh, for the love of siblings!

Today was what most people would call a sorrowful day and a day to express their condolences for your loss. That was not the case for me this day.  As I heard the news of this death, I rejoiced! We had watched the long patient wait, to leave this earth. It was a cause to celebrate. When someone’s body dies, there is a tearing away of something that is earthly to what is linked in the spiritual.  A tear of the heart for sure on both sides of what she called, “The valley of the shadow.” A place to say goodbye. Many question where they will really go at their death. But this special lady did not. She really knew where she belonged and to whom. There is a joy for me that she is free of this earth. She is with her Lord and Savior, and many who proceeded her.

Her name was Betty White. Actually Betty Jane to me. 

As a little girl I would go to her house and be pampered by my Aunt Betty with bubble baths. Then put to bed with prayers and the sound of a musical angel singing a sweet melody to me as she stroked my long blonde hair on my pillow. I was her second niece, her princess #2. A special title as she hadn’t had any daughters until her sons married. This was a cherished long standing position for me! 

Her faith and ability to be love were a powerful combined force that carried a strong fragrance. I know that many people love me but this woman really, loved me with Christ’s unconditional love. I never really understood this until I became mature in my faith. Her corrective words would be the truth that carried a slow smooth flow like honey. She could deliver the word of the Lord’s heart with no spines or pokes. I never felt inadequate. I could accept and sift her words like sugar as the day emerged. She understood my life challenges and called it as it was. “Love to the niece that accepts what has been given her.” As I look back at that message, it encourages me then and now to keep moving forward, to change my outlook, or push me to let the past go.

Stain glass at Ascension Lutheran Church
I never really had the eyes to see until now, how my aunt inconspicuously had woven her life and talents into me. She poured into me as a new designer. We decorated a massive health club together. Floor plans, colors schemes, materials and finishing touches. What a great experience! Several years went by and after my first 3 children were born, she invited me to her Paint Box Club to spruce up my watercolor skills. There I watched her talent overflow into her relationships. The later years of Community Bible Study with her were some of my happiest moments. We both were blessed to see each other weekly. Her knowledge as a Sunday school teacher was a blessing to so many. Then watching her step out and do stain glass windows for her church with no prior experience and do them with exquisite precision was the most amazing feat. Merging her talent and faith for many to always be able to view.
She was a extraordinary woman of God who walked her days in peace, prayer and love.

One of our many common factor besides art was, she fell in love with her high school sweetheart. Our paths of struggles in marriage were similar, but different. We both had joys and different trials. She was a great encourager to persevere and to be self reflective.

Betty and Bob White
Pastel on Sandpaper by Betty
I recently pulled up a card she had written with her amazing handwriting and it said this to me. “Becky, you have been a good wife and mother. A young lady to be proud of! Life has not been easy, but you have always tried to do your best and you have done a good job. So do as St. Paul says and don’t look back, keep looking forward, toward the mark. Heaven is quite a prize for us all to look forward to and to make our children delight in.”  

Love my Betty Jane! 
I so look forward to my next heavenly moment with her.