I don’t know if it was a “band of angels” since I’m pretty sure just one was sufficient for her petite frame; but that one angel at least, met Mamabel and finally carried her home to see her sweet Savior this morning.
I’ve been thinking for several months about how to tell you just who this lady was and how much she meant to us. And while this may sound completely unorthodox, these are the words that have been stuck in my head: Sweet as apple pie – Stubborn as Balaam’s ass. That was my Mamabel.
To say this woman was an integral part of our lives is a major understatement. We (my sister, brother, and I) grew up just 8 houses down the road from my grandparents. I remember few, if any, days without some form of contact. We would get home from running errands and the phone would begin ringing as soon as we stepped on the porch. My mom would say, “Yes, Isabel. We’re home.” It was always her. Mamabel was the neighborhood watch. She supposedly had vision problems and yet I’d swear she could tell if a bird pooped in our front yard. And she would call to tell us about it.
We got on the bus for school just two houses up from theirs and she stood in the doorway and waved EVERY morning! And for a time, while my mom was working, we would get off the bus and head straight to Mamabel and Papa’s until Mom got home. I can still smell the sweet potatoes baking in the oven. A half a stick of butter swimming on top and we had ourselves an afternoon snack. It’s no wonder I’m a carb-aholic.
When I was 17, my dad’s work transferred him to Indiana. The rest of us moved in with my grandparents until I finished out my senior year of high school. After which, Mom and my brother joined Dad in IN, my sister moved to an apartment, and I remained with my grandparents while attending community college and later preparing to marry a really cool guy named Tim. It was during these two years that I came to appreciate Mamabel as an amazing woman and not just a doting grandma. She had a great sense of humor, a love of laughter, and incredibly quick and sarcastic wit. (I consider this my personal inheritance from her.)
She loved her family and welcomed each new great-grand baby (eleven of them) into the fold regardless of color or even how they got here -adopted, biological, married into, whatever -she loved 'em all up and took great pride in them!
Please pray for our entire family. Many will be traveling (like us) and all will be hurting. Pray that we will grieve but not as those who have no hope! And lastly, pray that those who do not have a relationship with Christ will be drawn near to Him.
In loving memory of
Delia Isabel Harrington
March 26, 1919 - May 23, 2008