Mary will not be forgotten.
Five feet tall, if that, with a crown of snow at her top, Mary was a powerhouse of positive. She rarely missed church on Sunday and when you saw her she always carried a book in her hand and a smile on her face. Reading was one of her passions, praying was another. Her Bible at home was filled with underlined verses about the power of prayer and if she knew you needed prayer, Mary could be trusted to bang on the doors of heaven in your behalf.
Born in the South, Mary was one of nine children, five of whom reached adulthood. Precocious as a child, Mary wanted to attend school so badly the teacher told her mother to send her on with the others, even though she was only four. She graduated high school at sixteen. She followed her job-seeking father from Oklahoma to Texas where she would meet her husband. When they married, the couple moved to Oregon. He worked in the timber industry and she cooked for the public schools.
Though she remained childless, you would never have guessed that at her funeral yesterday. Not many people ninety-two have friends left to mourn them when they die, but Mary had adopted us, loved us and prayed for so many of us that letting her go was hard. The funeral home was packed, the family room overflowing, with people, youngsters, oldsters and everyone in between, who felt orphaned this week when their beloved Mary was called home to heaven.
To everyone she was Aunt Mary, the woman who admonished us to pray. No problem was too big for God to handle, all you had to do was pray and trust Him for the answers. The pastor who led the service challenged us to carry on her legacy, to give as she gave, to love as she loved, and to pray as Mary prayed. Though her feet were tiny, she left us big shoes to fill.
And so, I say goodbye to a woman whose example I hope to follow, but don’t expect to match, because Mary truly was one of a kind. We can’t wait to see her again. I know when I do she’ll be standing at heaven’s gates, a smile on her face and I’m sure somewhere in God’s heaven she’ll find a book to carry in her hand.
Philippians 4:6–“Do not be anxious about anything,but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”