Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Mindy's Story - A Friend In Deed

 From left to right, starting in the back row are
Mindy, Wanda, Sissy, Andrea.
Priscilla, me and Marilyn are in front. Pam
took the picture so she didn't have to be in it! 

I found this photo way back from 2017 and it's so special to me. These beautiful ladies were from the first widows group I had in South Carolina. It's a walk down memory lane! All of them but Mindy went through my book "Postcards from the Widows Path," at Florence Baptist Temple.

Back then, Mindy was a Facebook friend of mine, we'd never met in person. But she drove about 2 hours, all the way down from North Carolina! She made a special trip just to join our Christmas party. We were so glad she did!

"I didn't realize how much I needed to talk to other widows until I went to that Christmas dinner. Even though we were at different point in our grief, we connected. The timing was perfect. It was just what I needed, when I needed it," she reminisced last fall when we visited once again. 

This time we were at my new home on the other side of South Carolina where I'd moved in 2020. My husband Tom was away, working up in New York. Mindy happened to also be on the other side of South Carolina, so we got together! Have you gotten together with your widowed or single girlfriends for a weekend? Plan to do it soon! 

Mindy's hubby died on the day of her 57th birthday, July 25, in 2014. A totally unexpected massive heart attack. 

"We were going out for my birthday, but first he went to get some tires from the back of our property to drop off. I went out to let him know when I'd be ready. Instead, I found him unconscious."

She started CPR, but he was gone before she'd even gotten there. The 7 - 10 minutes it took for the EMT's to arrive seemed like forever. She didn't even get to say good-bye. 

I titled this "A Friend In Deed," because this verse reminded me of her faithful, steady character:
 
     "...those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Isaiah 49:23b (NIV)

She's been through a lot since John died--too much to tell here, but I sense you can understand. In a mysterious way, the widows I've met seem to get that about each other--we know we each carry a vast and precious history. And even through her many troubles, her faith never ceases. If you are her friend on Facebook, you'll notice that. Lately she's been posting Bible verses that capture hope and God's wonderful comfort and compassion.

Here's an amazing "coincidence:" today (Oct. 4) was John's birthday. (I honestly did not know that when God "nudged' me to get this going!) Mindy hosted a birthday party in the park to commemorate the day that first year. Her kids and grandkids each received some wonderful gifts she put together:
  • a small engraved jewelry box that held a key to the box John's ashes were in. (She obtained the extra keys from the funeral home). 
  • She also gave them one of John's golf balls in a clear display box and individual photos of each of them with their Grandpa. 
  • Then, since there were enough, they all donned one of the ball caps from Grandpa's wall display, and took a group photo.  
Mindy told me that doing this was so therapeutic because everyone loved their gifts and John had gotten to meet them all. Since then two great-grandchildren have been added to the family. She tried very hard to "be strong" and not show her grief to the family at the time. But since then, she's learned it can be a positive learning experience. She said, "They need to see it. It's good for them, and it was good for me....No other way will they learn that depth of compassion." 

She's not only a "friend in deed," she's a mom and grandma in the deed of role modeling authenticity and honest grief in a way that will help her family grow to become mature, compassionate, and full of faith. 

Thank you, Mindy, for not giving up. Those who hope in God like you do will NOT be disappointed.
💗 ferree

4 comments:

  1. Beautiful tribute to Mindy. I remember hearing of John’s passing and feeling that rush of sadness for her. I was 3 years into my own widowhood. Mindy and I knew each other while at Lincoln Christian College in Illinois. I am so grateful she continues to be salt and light to others just as she was back then. She has tasted and seen that the Lord is STILL good. Much love sent here ❤️

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you!!
    Mindy

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mindy has been a very important and special friend of mine’since junior high school. I watched her relationship with John grow and the wonderful family they nurtured together become. They were totally devoted to each other and their family and truly walked their life together as Christians. I am sure that Mindy feels that a true part of who she is, is gone with the loss of John. Thank you for allowing this beautiful lady to tell her inspirational story.

    ReplyDelete

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