Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Arvella’s In Heaven
One of my dearest friends, Martha, lost her stepmother recently. Arvella G. left this world of pain after living here for 100 years.
Her family knew her demise was coming. She experienced heart problems this fall. The only way I can explain how lovely this woman was and how much she meant to her family is to share some stories about her.
When she married Martha’s dad-a widower with three grown children, she became grandma to the grandchildren at that time and to those that came later. Even in telling her own grandchildren, Martha said, “Grandma has died.”
When David, Martha’s husband, suffered a massive heart attack, Arvella graciously let me come to her home to find out how he was progressing. We talked about my family and Martha’s daughter’s and their children. I believe I was there over an hour.
Last December, I went to the area Healthcare Campus where Arvella had chosen to move four and a half years earlier. My reason for being there was to purchase some of the calendars they had made for a community project. She was sitting in the lobby. She smiled the same sweet smile as she had done since I had met her back in the 1970s. We talked about the usual things-how were my son and husband doing, how was I doing? She somehow got the idea that I was ‘so busy’ with things.
I met Tom, one of her nephews, and Judy, his wife, and family when my son and I started going to another church in 1981. I gave Judy our address. She told me, “I know right where that is. Tom’s aunt lives in that area.” I didn’t know until one of Tom’s uncles died that Tom’s aunt was Arvella.
When our son graduated from high school, Martha’s younger daughter, Sheila, was in his class. I remember Martha and David, her dad and Arvella sat behind us at the service.
It was always a joy to see her and hear of her activities. She used to go to the grocery store on Thursdays. One time I saw her there. She smiled and greeted me. We talked briefly. Her disposition always made me feel good.
All those who had the opportunity to know her received a special reward. The family received a very definite blessing.
At her funeral, one of the pastors told of her activities while she resided at the assisted living facility. She belonged to the Red Hat Society. She learned sign language and took Spanish 101. She posed for a picture for a community calendar the healthcare campus published.
She will be missed, but she hasn’t really left us. She lives in our hearts. Everyone who knew her has a couple of stories to share about her.
Those who went to the cemetery were invited to take a flower from the arrangements with them. I selected a rose that was just beginning to open. It graced my coffee table for almost two weeks.