Mattie Sheppard died of cancer in January 1997. I could probably write a book about
her and still not capture all she was to all people. One of the things I remember most
is her saying "Where are my hugs and kisses?" whenever one of the kids would
come around. Marla's favorite memory of her is the time she and Aunt Mattie made
a "car" out of an old box.
She never failed to laugh at my corny jokes and always told me I was pretty no
matter how ugly I felt. When I was so mad at Mama, Aunt Mattie was always there to remind me that Mama
only had my best interests at heart. At times, I felt she was the "go-between" and she always managed to defend Mama
without making it sound like she was taking sides :) My sister got her looks and I got her love for purple. I really miss you.
Aunt Mattie and Marla, who was about 5 days old.
Granny went to the emergency room the day before she died. I went there and was
standing beside her bed when she told my mama "Just take me home." When Mama
mentioned something about her having to get better, I remember Granny telling her
"When it's my time to go, I am going and being here won't help. I am ready to go!"
Fiesty until the end. Granny died sometime that night in her sleep.
She had polio as a child and as a result, she never walked without the aid
of crutches and in later years, relied on her wheelchair. She always hummed a lot.
She was very religious and always witnessed to others. Until the latter years, I don't
think she ever missed many services at church.
Her last Birthday - April 26, 1997
Don't think of her as gone away-her journey has just begun.
Life holds so many facets - this earth is only one.
Just think of her as resting from the sorrows and the tears,
In a place of warmth and comfort where there are no days and years.
Think how she must be wishing that we could know today
That nothing but our sadness can really pass away.
And think of her as living in the hearts of those she touched,
For nothing loved is ever lost and she was loved so much.