Christmas will have a sprinkle of sadness among showers of gladness for my grandchildren this year because they lost their other grandmother, Florence Jones, on Oct. 27, due to cancer. When the call came on Oct. 19 from Amy, Lee, Jr.'s sister, that their mother was placed in hospice, he, his wife Diane, two of his daughters, Rachel and Sarah, and baby James, drove to Abilene. Florence told Rachel that she wanted to write a note of thanks, love and appreciation, to all her dear friends…an ardent display of her thoughtfulness. Rachel helped her with this message on the left, which was published in the Abilene newspaper the next day. Florence and her husband, Lee, Sr. moved to Abilene from New Jersey in 1995. (He died Nov. 6, 2001). She kept very busy in projects with her church, bridge club and community; made 100 crib sheets for day care; 27 dolls for Good-. fellows. While in hospice, she helped Rachel and Amy write her 4"x11" obituary.
When my granddaughter Jessica was born March 27, 1986, Lee, Sr. and Florence came to Houston soon afterwards to see this little darling. As soon as they checked into the hotel, Florence called on the telephone. I was helping care for Wanda and the children when the phone rang. Sarah, age 4, answered.
Florence said, "Hello, Sarah. This is your grandmother. I'm Grandma!'
Sarah wasn't buying it! She asked, "Do you want to talk to my REAL grandmother?"
Every time we met, I teased Florence, "Say all you want about being the grandmother, but I am the REAL grandmother!" Wanda and Lee were the parents of my only 5 grandchildren.
It's sad, but sometimes divorce is the only solution. I think the children were between the ages of 4 to 13. Both parents have remarried. Surely you understand, divorce changes once loving relationships. Holidays must be shared: half the day with me, then the other half with their dad.
On September 15, Florence was age 97. Lee and Diane planned a big birthday party at their home for all the family. Sarah and 3-month-old James would be there. I had only seen him once when Dexter and I drove to Dallas. Dortha and Ronnie (and spouses) had not yet seen him.
Sarah's plane would arrive Saturday afternoon and she had to leave at 7:A.M. Sunday morning.
We all wanted to go to the party -- but what would happen to our relationships with Wanda?
We are all part of the family of God. I don't know how many took this situation to God in prayer.
Wanda telephoned from Florida and said, "I think ALL of you should go to Florence's birthday party so you can see James!" God cares! He loves us all! He answers our prayers!
I went to the party with Dortha and Dale. Lee and Diane have a big two-story house. There were people everywhere: on the patio watching TV football; in the den, watching TV football; in the dining room; in the kitchen. Florence was sitting at the breakfast table. We hugged, and I said, "I'll just sit here with you. My legs begin hurting after 10 minutes on my walker, and that time is now." We were together during the whole party. All birthday presents were brought to her at this table. Even though she had cancer, she felt good. It was a happy time being with everyone in both families. I said, "I believe we both can reach 100 years!"
We were so happy, there were no thoughts of this being our last time together.
Florence was in hospice. She said to Amy: "I want you to give my walker to Tillie. She can only stand a few minutes among friends. My walker has a fold-up seat. I've only used it a few times. She can be with a standing group as long as she wishes!" Thinking of me, in hospice!
Florence is with Jesus this Christmas celebrating His birthday. What a party that must be. Glory to God! And showers of blessings to you all. Jesus loves you and me so much, that He
came to earth to die for us. He said, "I gave my life for thee. What hast thou given for Me?"
TILLIE WIER, inspirational writer and employee of Logos Ranch, LLC shares her adventures with God so that others may see Him in their everyday lives.
> December 2013