fortunately her change of plan gave her time to say goodbye to her grandmother. Gerry's mom took an unexpected turn in a very short time and we all said goodbye to her on September 5. It has been a sad and very long week.
As with most funerals, we saw family and friends we seldom see. Why are we like that, we only see our loved ones at weddings and funerals.... this is Mrs. MaryNeil Hill. You will not find a finer example of southern grace anywhere, I dare you to try! I have not seen her in twenty years and this is exactly what she looked like the last time I saw her. She is the mother of Gerry's best childhood friend. She is 90! Still driving, still active and so charming. I sat in the swing and talked with her for a very long time on the eve of Joyce's funeral. This is what I want to be like when/if I reach 90!!
Gerry's uncle Randy is the epitome of a good old southern boy. He talked about the rebel flag, the curses of Obama being president, what a good man Donald Trump is.... sigh..... he is a great guy, but he does not hold back on his politics and his language and we all just bite our tongue and silently agree to disagree. He would do anything in the world for you. Ahhhh family....
We spent time with brothers and sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews. It was a wonderful and fitting tribute for a woman we all loved more than anything.
Speaking of family, we will be adding a new member to our house on Sunday. Wesley has been wanting a puppy for a very long time, and somehow the time seems right now. We found this adorable Australian Shepherd puppy and she will be ready to leave her mommy this coming Sunday. Can't wait to bring her home!
Gerry's dad, a Southern Baptist minister preached the funeral service. He showed us all what strength is. It was a beautiful service, he told funny stories, he talked of touching moments in their 68 years together. He was a pro. How he was able to get through the service, I will never know. But it was amazing to be there and hear him speak. It was a celebration of a life lived with joy and laughter and love.
And so we all start our lives from this point forward without Joyce Broome there to lend an ear, offer a kind word, bring laughter to our lives. I have written many times about her over the years. She was one of my dearest friends. I have not cried for her yet. Maybe I won't. I fear if I do, the tears will never stop. She leaves a very empty place inside all of us. She was super human in every way. Each grandchild believed they were her favorite. She remembered every birthday, every anniversary, every favorite toy, TV show, book, song, food. She sent care packages, she shopped for gifts for each of us all year long. She cooked fabulous meals. She mended broken hearts. She offered good advise, but only when asked. Never expressed her opinion unless asked, I never heard a negative word come out of her mouth. Even as she grew more fragile and her pain grew worse, she smiled, she lit up the world with her smile. Her grace and kindness are untouchable and even though I would give anything to be like her, it is an impossible goal. Each day, I remind myself to at least try and be more like her. I am a better person because she was in my life. I will miss her dearly, as all of us who knew her will.
I am sad for Gerry who no longer has a mother to turn to, sad for Wesley who has lost her grandmother, sad for all of us. But I am glad she no longer suffers. She had a strong belief in God, believed she would be in heaven one day. The wife of a minister, her faith gave her strength to bear any burden. The loss of a child, the life of a preacher's wife, raising four children in her early twenties. And then chronic pain that brought on the pharmaceutical hell she lived in. I am at least glad that is over for her.
Goodbye, Joyce. You leave a void that will never be filled. I miss you so much.....