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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

In the Pink

Pinky

I got word, yesterday, that a sweet, dear friend of mine passed away. (This is not going to be a sad post, by the way...keep reading.) Maynelle was in her 80s, and over the last year or so had begun the journey to meet her Savior. I believe she was ready and eagerly anticipating that meeting. My only regret in her passing is that I was unable to see her after I got back to Knoxville, before she left this life.

Maynelle was one of those women that makes you want to be a better woman. She's who I want to be, if ever I decide to grow up. Retired and widowed by the time I met her, she was the very picture of a confident, independent woman. She spoke her mind, although never cruelly. She stuck to her principles, even when it cost her plenty to do so. She was a fiercely loyal friend.

She was raised in a different world than the one she left, but I never saw her shrink from the changes that modern culture wrought. Where others might have judged someone based on external appearance, she seemed to see right through to the heart. I watched her embrace pastors and prostitutes with the same arms, never treating one any differently from the other.

There are so many lessons to be learned from those who have so many more years of experience than we have. I've noticed it, not just in Maynelle, but in my own grandparents who are in their 90s, and have seen so much more joy and pain and heartache and new life and death and change than my feeble 42 year old brain can even imagine. The ones who tend to live happiest are those that learn to roll with the punches without losing their integrity and without becoming bitter and hardened by the experiences. They are the ones that are able to see that there is so much more to this life than the petty annoyances that surround our daily activities.

So, thank you, Maynelle. Thank you for showing me, and everyone you met, what it means to be a woman after God's own heart. Thank you for demonstrating what it means to be a woman of character and integrity and grace and peace.

Thank you for being my friend.