Too often that which seems so permanent in life instantly becomes a puff of smoke. Instantly that which was a part of your reality lives only in memory of loved ones and friends. On Friday morning, May 26, at 5 a.m. we received a call from Jerry, Joyce’s brother, that Mary, Joyce’s mom, was in serious condition. He asked us to meet him in Crossville. About 8 a.m. we received a call enroute that Mary had died.
Until the last 24 hours, Mary was mentally sharp and filled with her usual sense of humor. In less than 48 hours of her death, she and Joyce were talking on the telephone giggling like school girls.
Joyce’s home always had a strong, positive sense of personality. I will not say it is large—that would be a huge exaggeration. As Joyce and I cleaned the house before we left, I vacuumed. I plugged the cord into one socket and vacuumed four rooms—and could have vacuumed at least one more room! (The other three small rooms had a linoleum floor covering.) Though I have many pleasant memories associated with that house, without Mary’s strong, positive sense of personality, to me it was just another house. It seemed so unnatural to be there in Mary’s absence. It was always something special because Mary was there—whistling! Even though she was often told that “whistling women and crowing hens often come to a no good end” she still whistled.
A few days before Mary’s death, our daughter, Anita, said the following to Joyce in an e-mail.
“Grandma Wells is simply the most content and least depressed person I have ever met in my life. Her sense of humor is constant regardless of life’s conditions. She never acts like she wants anything more than she has. She never seems to think ill of others. She doesn’t hold grudges. She has no personal agenda. She is just so comfortable being herself. In those and many other ways, she is an inspiration. I have no problem seeing why she ended up with so many ‘adopted’ children to swarm around her now. It gives me a lot of comfort to think of how much love is around her all the time. Everyone treats her as well as she treats them, and she and grandpa only had friends wherever they went for good reason.”
know where Joyce ‘got it’!
One of Mary’s joys was to sit at her table or in her recliner and watch the many birds at her bird feeder. The first thing I did when we arrived was to fill her bird feeder. One of the last things I did before we left was to fill her bird feeder. Thanks Mary for the many ways you touched and blessed my life! My indebtedness to you is bigger than I can ever repay!
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Link to other Writings of David Chadwell