I sat there holding her hand and I began to think. God has given her so many years and she has blessed so many people! Now it looks as if God is preparing her for a homecoming.

She’s 86 and she’s lived an extraordinary life for the Lord. So I know exactly what awaits her, but still, I am having a little trouble letting her go. It’s not that I want my aunt Eva Mae to live in her current condition, and I know God could heal her on earth or He might just take her home for good.

Revelations 21:4 gives us a wonderful picture of heaven. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away,” according to Revelations 21:4.

I can’t even remember the first time I met her because I’m sure I was a newborn baby. Being my parent’s first child, I know she assured them that this colicky little baby would be just fine. When I retrace some of my most prominent memories, I realize she has been a major part of my life.

I guess some of my first memories were riding in the back of a truck at her house. My parents didn’t have a truck, and I don’t think I’d ever been in a truck, but we bounced and sloshed around that truck bed like it was a mechanical bull. The fun didn’t end there. Her oldest son, Steven, and I would jump on a dirt bike and ride alongside the power poles, and I’ll ever forget my first horse ride. It was almost my last horse ride because the saddle was loose, and I ended up underneath the horse, still on the saddle with Smoky galloping along the trail.

Eva Mae is a pastor’s wife so there were always youth outings like bowling and skating. You never knew who would come by for some pound cake and coffee, but no one left disappointed. My goodness I made a lot of friends that I would have never met if Eva Mae would not have welcomed me into her home like she did. I think I liked to be there because there was always something going on with the youth group, their parents, or with her children. Speaking of her children, she birthed one of my cousins, best friends, and I’ll even call Elaine my sister because we’ve done life together.

Eva Mae mourned heavily with the loss of her sister, my mom, some 33 years ago. I am so thankful that she stepped up to the plate and helped all of us. She delivered food to my dad and brother. She would make that trek from Gainesville to Sugar Hill with a hot cooked meal every day. She also stood in for my mom more times than I could ever remember.

She’s one of the last connections I have to my mom. Eva Mae is one who has shared so many memories about their childhood and the times they shared as adults as well. She’s helped me to keep all mom’s memories alive for so many years.

If the Lord heals her on this side of heaven, I’ll be happy. If not, I have the promise that we will be reunited one day.

Sherry Lewis is pastor of New Beginnings Worship Center.

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