Monday, December 2, 2013

The General

When the perishable puts on the imperishable,
and the mortal puts on immortality,
then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?
…But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:54-57

This weekend, I opened a Gaither Homecoming CD and listened to it for the first time.   I bought it last November and planned to give it to my Aunt Margaret for her birthday.   But, I forgot to give it to her.   I thought I would give it to her this year…but I didn’t know where it was, and in the hustle-bustle of the party planning for my dad’s birthday, the thought slipped my mind again.  She loved southern gospel, as do I.

I don’t believe I was named for my aunt, my dad’s sister.  It’s my understanding that Dad just liked the name, "Margaret.She and I shared a common dislike of the name, though I’ve grown to like it more over the years.   Margaret means pearl.   My aunt was definitely a pearl.

She was called “The General” by her family.  She was always planning a trip here or there.  When she instigated those many vacations, she did her research, planning what to do and see.  She enjoyed life, and she enjoyed our family being together.  She was always considerate towards those around her…making sure we were comfortable.  She was generous not only with her time, but with her things as well.   She gave to those in need.   She was a woman of profound faith…she didn’t worry (and would fuss a little at my mom for worrying).   She was a pearl indeed, a most precious gem of gems.   

She and my dad had become very close over the years since retirement, and they were often plotting a new vacation, or a chance to visit.  They shared a "love" of coupons and vitamins and herbs.  My extended family likes to get together…we don’t do it near enough…but The General sure did her part in visiting.  Just a few short months ago, Ole Boy and I, along with my parents, my sister and her husband, took a trip to Branson, Missouri.   Aunt Margaret, as always, had a suggested itinerary…and as always, a very good one, at that.

I had a connection with her that perhaps came from my answering for her repeatedly over the years, only to realize that someone was addressing the “other” Margaret.  She laughed at my corniness, the crazy comments I would interject into conversation.  When I said the password was “BR549,” she knew immediately where that originated.  She loved me because I was family, but she liked me, too.   She made sure that I knew she did. 

Two weekends ago, we celebrated my Dad’s 80th birthday.   His birthday wasn’t until Wednesday, but we celebrated early on the weekend for the convenience of those who would travel to help celebrate.   Aunt Margaret’s birthday was two days before Dad’s.  They liked to get together each year for a birthday dinner…but this year, Margaret wouldn’t hear of sharing the party, even though her birthday came first.

Aunt Margaret and Uncle Junior left for home on Monday, November 18, her birthday.  There was an accident, and the Lord saw fit to call her Home.  I imagine that there was a grand reunion, and perhaps the very best of birthday celebrations.  On that day, she stepped out of time and into “right now.”   Right now, she is visiting with our Lord Jesus, my grandparents, and friends and family that went on before her.  Right now, they are happy, pain free, healed and healthy, and in the presence of the Lord they served so diligently here on earth.  Right now, and forevermore, oh, the music I am sure they are enjoying…far better than the CD I never gave her. 

Mom, Dad, Aunt Margaret, Uncle Junior
He will swallow up death forever,
And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces…
Isiah 25:8

I will miss her; her beautiful spirit, her laugh, her presence.  She was loved.  My Uncle Junior joined his beloved wife just a few short months later.   They were very dear to us...treasures to our family.


  1. What a sweet tribute to your Aunt Margaret. A beautiful woman. How cute what her nickname was. I am sure she will be missed always by those that loved her, especially her family. Praying for Uncle Junior; I can't imagine how hard it is for him.


  2. Hugs and prayers your way.


  3. This was so touching... your love for your aunt comes through the words, so sweetly, tenderly... I kept thinking of how the scent of a flower lingers, even after the flower is gone. And yes, I'll pray for Uncle Junior. This must be especially hard for him. {{{hugs to you}}}


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