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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)

TITLE: Mamaw's Joy
By Leigh Ann Adams


Looking out of the window of our truck I watched the landscape quickly pass by as we drove toward the hospital. It was a beautiful Sunday morning in March; the sun brightly shining and warming the earth as much as it can in March in southwest Virginia. Normally, we would have been driving in the opposite direction, going to church with our two young girls. On any other Sunday I would have been preparing my heart for worship, or singing songs with my girls while looking out of the window of our truck as my husband drove us to church. Sundays in my family are days full of joy in worshipping God and fellowshipping with friends and family.

There would be no joy today. Today, there would be no singing with the girls or preparing my heart for worship. Today, I was preparing my heart for grief. Today, I was going to have to say goodbye to my great-grandmother, Mamaw Chapman. Mamaw had been the picture of health for 92 years. She had only been in the hospital two other times in her life until she had her first heart attack two weeks ago; the day after she had driven herself to prayer meeting on Wednesday night; the day she raked the dead leaves out of her yard. Mamaw’s mind and body had always been strong. My cousin Cody would later say at her funeral, she was “like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season…” (Psalm 1:3, KJV). She had been like a strong oak tree that bore fruit for the Lord all of her life with her vibrant testimony for Him.

As we entered into Mamaw’s room at the hospital I knew the time was near. Most of the family had already assembled and were making quiet conversation as Mamaw had begun her journey across the river. The nurses had removed all of monitors and no life-giving equipment was left except for the small nasal canula that was delivering oxygen to her lungs as took small, shallow, and infrequent breaths. Her mouth was open, and for a minute, I could see her in my mind’s eye snoozing in her rocking chair on her back porch on a warm summer day.

As we gathered together to help Mamaw cross over onto that beautiful shore we began to realize that there was joy to be found, even on this day that we would lose the woman who had given us such a godly heritage. We rejoiced in the fact that she had lived such a long, healthy, and spiritually rich life. As we spoke of the impact she had made on each of us, we began to sing. We sang her favorite hymns; hymns that told of unclouded days and gathering at the river. We knew the time was near, as she was taking more time between breaths. Our final hymn to Mamaw was “Victory in Jesus.” As we sang of receiving that victory, she reached the streets of gold and the faith she had held onto for so many years ended in sight. I know that as she looked into the face of her Savior, his words to her were: “well done, thy good and faithful servant.”

Joy was experienced today. Joy in a life that had radiated the life of Christ to so many others. Joy in a woman who had been faithful to her God and to her family. Joy in a woman who lived to love four great-great grandchildren. Joy in knowing that Mamaw was with the Savior she had longed to see for more than 70 years. Today my family realized that there is more joy to be felt than sorrow when one of God’s children is brought home to receive their robe and crown.

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This article has been read 567 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 05/25/06
What a beautiful tribute. Well done.
Julia May05/25/06
Wow - This could have been my story as I too had a Mamaw Chapman who lived a long and Godly life. She was my Dad's mother, my grandmother. She taught us all many things about about life and the afterlife from her knowledge of the Bible. This brought tears to my eyes as I recalled those precious memories. Great article and well written. Thank you. In Christ's Love,

Julia Chapman May
Rita Garcia05/27/06
Made me think of my grandmother, brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for the joy of memories. Fantastic job!
Valerie Routhieaux05/27/06
Wonderful, I'm still brushing the tears away.
Birdie Courtright05/30/06
A very beautiful portrayal of a special woman. You brought tears to my eyes.
Well done. It sounds like alot of her lives on in you.