Tomorrow at 2:00 P.M. we will have a memorial service for my grandmother, Mabel Perry. She was born 95 years ago in South Louisiana. It’s really odd to realize she’s not going to be with us any more on this side of heaven. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’ll see her again. She was a woman of deep faith. Her grandfather, Abel Hoffpauir, was an old-fashioned Methodist circuit rider, as was one of her great uncles, Ivy. Her great-grandfather, Isaac Hoffpauir, was the first licensed lay preacher in the Methodist Church in South Louisiana and started the Indian Bayou Methodist Church. She loved the Lord and lived her life to His glory.
Last Thursday I returned home from a wonderful revival in Olton, TX. We went that night to the hospice where “MoMo” Perry was being cared for. My mom and dad were there along with some of my brothers, a sister and other family members. It was a sweet time. MoMo knew us and was still responsive enough to give greetings and answer back to us when we spoke. “I love you, MoMo.”
“I love you, Wesley.”
?MoMo, It?s Wiley?s birthday.?
“Happy birthday, Wiley.”
“What is your favorite hymn, MoMo?”
The response was priceless; “All of them.”
So for the next hour or so we sang and prayed. We prayed and sang for MoMo. We tried to think of as many of the old hyms as we possibly could. The room filled with music and tears and prayers and love. We were all on holy ground. I’ve never heard anything more beautiful in my life. I do declare that the angels who were waiting to take her home were singing with us. Perhaps they even delayed it a little, just so we could have this holy memory.
It was a time I will always cherish.
We went back on Friday and did it all again. I noticed that MoMo would grow peaceful while we were singing. She was not as responsive and was not able to speak as much, but she could hear. So we sang. Songs of faith and hope. Songs of a heavenly home. Songs that she had known and sung for years that now had deeper meaning than ever before.
She went Home on Saturday morning. Two of my brothers were with her. (She was never left alone the whole time she was in hospice.) She was holding one of my brother’s hands when she whispered her last words, “I love you.” She took two short breaths, tried to say something else, and then she just wasn’t here anymore. It was a peaceful, precious death.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 2:00, pray for our family as we come together to remember her life, celebrate her faith, and tell her goodbye.
Except, we Christians don’t really ever say goodbye. I guess we’ll just have to say, “I’ll meet you later at the house.”
I love you, MoMo.