I am struggling with how to start this post. I have so much to say that I can’t fathom where to begin. This weekend I had the honor to be a part of celebrating the life of one of the most special people I’ll ever know. I got to be there to encourage and support two friends I love dearly, all while snuggling their sweet tiny boy who I love so much I could burst. Even with all the sweetness shared in that love, I walked in dreading the thought of goodbye.
I wasn’t alone. There was a church filled with people who loved Ma Mac fiercely. There was a church filled with people sad for their loss but ever so thankful to have been loved by her. Whether you knew her for a minute or your whole life, she loved you.
It was just who she was. Maybe that came from years of delivering babies as a nurse. How could you hold a sweet newborn and not love them right away? God called her to be a nurse, and the training she received in her calling blessed the world because she loved so deeply immediately and you knew it. You felt it.
As I sat in the church service I couldn’t help but think back on precious memories. She has known me my whole life. Ma Mac delivered my mom and two of my siblings! She delivered hundreds of babies in my hometown.
I’ll never forget her granddaughter Cheryl moving to town. We became instant friends. The first time I ever went over to their house Ma Mac opened the door for me. She had a hug and a kiss ready for me, questions about how everyone in my family was doing, and a gigantic piece of chocolate cake she baked from scratch!
When I graduated high school, people were able to buy bibles for everyone in the youth group who was a senior. Another lady at church, who was also precious to me, signed up to give me my bible. When Ma Mac found this out, she called the pastor Tim and told him that wouldn’t do! She then called the sweet lady who had signed up to give me my Bible, and after they arm wrestled over the phone, she convinced her! On that senior day, Ma Mac and Cheryl presented me with my bible.
On Cheryl’s wedding day, I sat reading the program before the ceremony got started. As I was reading it, I was trying to figure out who Rose was. It took her walking in to know that Ma Mac had a real first name! When I told her that at the reception, she laughed and laughed! I only ever knew her as Ma Mac. She was my Ma Mac too, but really, she belonged to everyone!
This Thanksgiving, I called Cheryl to say hi and got to visit with her. She asked me about my family while Cheryl showed pictures of my babies. She told me how beautiful they were and wanted to know all about them. She told me she was proud of me. She told me to keep working hard at school. She told me to always be a good friend to Cheryl. She told us to always be there for each other and to be sure to always call. She told me she loved me.
Last Tuesday I got a message that read she was gone. I was thankful it wasn’t a phone call because I wanted to be strong for Cheryl. I wanted to be able to encourage her with truth. I wanted her to know I was there for her. I also needed to weep.
That’s a good thing. We can weep knowing that our loss is heaven’s gain. We can weep knowing death was swallowed up in victory. We can weep knowing with certainty that someone is receiving their crown and finally seeing Jesus face to face. We can weep knowing that someday we’ll be there too.
When you hear about the life of one person and how much difference they made, it makes you want to be better. It makes you want to have the humility to love, no matter the cost. No cost was too high for Ma Mac to put others above herself. She gave and gave until she got to go home and receive her treasure and her Savior.
For adopting a whole city to the point that you had more children and grandchildren than the world will probably ever know; for always loving like Christ; for always being the rising tide that raised everyone around you, and for always being the very, very best, thank you Ma Mac.