Saturday, August 14, 2010

Elizabeth,Conner and Lola

Elizabeth,Conner and Lola
Originally uploaded by jmtimms
Several years ago, I joined a missions group at our church. Most of the ladies in the group are over 70 years old. I love going and feeling like I am spending the day with my Grandma's. It was in this group, I met Lola who was a long time member of the group and church.

I quickly learned, sit by Lola because she makes lots of comments under her breath. She would often sit and make smart remarks on things she didn't agree with. She spoke her mind often and not so secretly. But, the under the breath comments were the best! You never needed to worry where you stood with her, she would tell you exactly where you stood. She never was one to hold back or pull punches. One time she lent the youth pastor her van, he brought it back in a state she deemed unacceptable to her standards. She called the church, the next time he brought it back........even the seat belts were laid out straight.

My kids started talking to her, because she drove a little coral Honda Civic with a HUGE stuffed pig in the trunk. Everywhere you went, you knew it was Lola's car by the pig in the back. I would often take the kids to the park across the street and we would see her speeding ( yes, she didn't drive slow) by waving wildly.

The year my grandparents died, the kids were studying community and family. They were supposed to write a report on family history but it was too painful for our family at the time. So we chose the community option. We needed to interview someone who grew up in our city and they chose Lola. She told them how people would celebrate weddings in Visalia( they would hold a "chivary" and run the groom to the Fox theater in a wheelbarrow) and all about growing up here.

This began a very close friendship between the three. We would often go to her house, sit outside and visit. One time, she gave me a Pepsi in a glass and washed my mouth out with soap at the same time. She had washed the glass but not quite rinsed it clean, it was soapy. I still laugh that she did that, unknowingly.....she would be one to wash my mouth out. She would tell us, " I will let you in but you better not tell the other ladies what my house looks like." Elizabeth loved that Lola collected stuffed animals just like her.

She was sharp witted, intelligent and the funniest person I have ever met in my life. The kids will cackle with stories of Lola.If we ever need a laugh, we will often start talking about her and we are sure to end up in hysterics.  One of their favorites stems from the same day as the Pepsi incident. We saw chicken feed on her front porch and asked her about it. She responded she had some chickens and wanted to get rid of them. She had caught a few but one large illusive rooster. She was going to trap it on her enclosed porch.

The next time we saw her, she proceeded to tell us that she not only caught it......but she drove it to the feed store, hanging the rooster out of  her car window by the feet while driving a stick shift! We never will look at a Rooster the same again.

Two summers ago, she had the first of many strokes. We would go spend Mondays with Lola at the nursing home and listen to her many stories. She loved seeing the kids and they had a mutual admiration society. The three of them were the best of friends.  Unfortunately, that ended six months ago and we could no longer go see her. The last time they saw her was the day of this picture on Easter Sunday.

Lola served God with all her heart. She taught Backyard Bible clubs every summer. She eventually built such a ministry she bought a little trailer to tow and travel teaching kids. She never gave up serving until last year and it broke her heart. She was patiently waiting for God to take her and prayed everyday for it to be the day. Last night, God was finally finished with her. What a homecoming that must have been for her.

Conner cried really hard this morning, but then told me, " God looked Lola in the eye today and told her well done good and faithful servant."

Elizabeth smiled and cried, she knew Lola was happy in heaven. She then started writing a blog, wanting to put some of her memories down for good.

When I talked to our friend Joyce, she said she was imaginging Lola up at a banquet with the Lord......refusing to eat his food ( she was not a big eater and being a depression child..hated waste of ANY kind.)

Today, our friend Rachel came to visit. I know God knew we would be sad today and need a distraction. As we were driving down the road, this song came on and I just saw Lola, she finally got to see Jesus today.

Lola was one of our hero's and one of the women I looked up to. I hope to be just like her and give our my life in service.