Wednesday, July 1, 2009
My grandmother, Clara Anglin Owen (aka "Mammaw"), passed away on June 30th unexpectedly from a sudden heart attack. She was the backbone of the Owen family for many, many years and being without her has posed a bit of a shock to us all. She and my grandfather have been married for 57 years, and he is struggling to find his footing without her. Please pray for him and for my family.
She had been stressed lately by caring for multiple family members and was so upset that she and my grandfather would unable to come to Lucy's birthday party. She sent Lucy the sweetest card with a beautiful outfit and matching hair bow in the mail, and I called to thank her and to catch up in what turned out to be a few days before she died. I will forever be grateful for that phone call in the middle of a harried working mommy weekday. I remember getting home and telling Andrew that I'd never heard her that down and upset before, and that I was really worried about her. It turned out that her heart must have been too tired to go on in this world and that she was simply being called home to rest.
Mammaw was literally the most kind and positive person I have ever known. During the funeral service, person after person spoke to her generous spirit and her overflowing servant's heart and how she was constantly praying for the needs of others (especially her family) over her concerns. In my mind, she was the perfect example of the "what would Jesus do" philosophy -- she would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it, forgive easily after being wronged, look always for the good in others, turn the other cheek, rebuke gossip... the list could go on and on forever. She embodied the fruit of the Spirit wholeheartedly and lived her life as a wonderful example of a woman desiring to know God. I am so blessed to have had her example in my life and I know she is know resting peacefully with the One who gave her to us for a brief time.
Mammaw was a fantastic grandmother -- eager to take a drive for an Icee, to play you in a game of checkers, or to make you your favorite meal (mine was cream of chicken soup with rice). She was really funny and loved to laugh and was brimming with talent. I have many fond memories of hearing her sing and watching her play the accordion growing up, and she's the one who taught me to play the piano. She had a passionate love of reading (which she thankfully passed along to me) and for the written word. I believe I've received more handwritten cards and letters from her than anyone else in my lifetime, and they always came at just the right time when I needed extra encouragement to get through a particularly tough time. Words just cannot express how much her unconditional love and warm countenance meant to my life, and she will be so incredibly missed.