Friday, May 23, 2008

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

…coming for to carry me home.

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


millendersinafrica said...

We love you guys, and are praying for you as you travel. Praise the Lord for a life lived for him, and for your grandparents' impact on many generations. Give your Dad a hug for us.

the millenders

Anonymous said...

My heartfelt sympathies for your loss. I lost my Mamaw in October 2 weeks shy of her 101st birthday. I understand the gaping hole it leaves but rejoice in the fact that the loss is temporary as we willmeet again. I'll hold you all in my prayers. Kim

Russ & Pat Rosenberg said...

Tim & Amie - our prayers are with you during this time of grieving, and rejoicing the legacy Mamabel is leaving behind for your family to cherish. May the Lord use you both as vessels to share His glories with your family. I thank Him for your obedience and ask travel mercies and His hedge of protection for you all. Take rest in knowing you will see her again for eternity! With heartfelt sympathies and love.

Bobbey said...

Hang on to those precious sweet memories. They'll mean ever so much more to you in the years to come. It's good you write them down.

I'm so sorry to hear of Mamabel's passing. I know you'll miss her but you know that they are celebrating bringing a sweet soul home in heaven.

Safe travels to you and the family.

Clair said...

Praying for you! HUGS!

Rose Anne said...

Praying for safe travels and for God to soften your grieve!
what a beautiful song I have been teaching it to the kids reciently...
God Bless,
Rose Anne

lisa shay said...

oh sorry for your great and giant loss. however, i'm so happy for you to have such rich and wonderful heritage and precious sweet memories galore to share with your children. travel blessings to you all.

us. said...

praying for you


LisaSlater said...

Amie-I have to say, Mamabel is the greatest name ever for a grandma. I know all the wonderful memories will make you smile in the midst of your grieving.

Nancy said...

We are sorry for the great loss you are experiencing right now. Like everyone has mentioned, what a great legacy you have been given. It is rare to have such a person in one's life. May you have peace during this week and the days & months to come. We miss you around here but know that you are being a blessing to your family right now. Our prayers are with you.
Dave & Nancy

Leo said...

That's a beautiful tribute to someone you obviously loved and respected. We are praying for you and the family.