Thursday, August 14, 2003


I seem to have written a lot about death in recent months. Bill, Pastor Eddie, and little E.J.

These were all grievous life gripping events snarled in a shared sudden chaos.

Now someone else whom I loved has died. Her name was Mabel. She was the sister of Silvey Harris, who also went to be with God this year.

This picture does not do Mabel justice, but it's all I have handy. Make no mistake, she was old and frail...but in many ways she was hearty and stout.

Mabel always caught me, and many others, off guard. She was ever nimble in her wit. She knew it, and she knew many people didn't expect her to be so quick, so funny, so full of life.

It always surprised me. She was so small, so feisty.

Mabel lived and Mabel laughed.

And she also served.

Mabel never married. She spent most of her prime years of life caring for her elderly parents until they died. Then Mabel needed something to do, so she started caring for another elderly couple until they passed away. It made no sense to point out to her that the people she was caring for were actually younger than she was.

Mabel died last night. She was 99.

99 years of laughter and service. Such an honorable life.

I will miss Mabel, but I will not mourn.

Father God, enjoy Mabel...we certainly did.

"Tears are sometimes an inappropriate response to death. When a life has been lived completely honestly, completely successfully, or just completely, the correct response to death's perfect punctuation mark is a smile."

-Julie Burchill