Last week Raf and I attended the funeral service for Frances Smith - Mrs. Sam Smith.
I know you know them. Mr. and Mrs. Smith had the Piggly-Wiggly store downtown, and their children are Tommy, who was in my high school class, Sammye, who my mother taught, and Kathy, the youngest of the family. And, by the way, Mrs. Smith was 97 years old!
The Smith family is one of the dearest families in Mineral Wells. Kathy is our daughter Carolyn’s godmother, and Kathy is married to David Boswell, a loving, funny, strong, and reliable man, like the family into which he married.
Raf taught all of their kids, Wendy, Joe, and Josh, and we have always been close, even when we don’t see each other a lot.
Joe has been Mrs. Smith’s primary care-giver for several years, and what a wonderful man he is to have taken care of his granny the way he did!
Mr. Smith and my daddy, John Ficke, used to meet at Murray’s for coffee about every morning in the 1950s. Murray’s was right between where they worked, so it was easy for them to get there about ten or so!
Of course, Murray’s was owned by Joyce Murray Watson’s family ... another wonderful, strong family!
Anyway, to get back to my story. I was so please to see what a crowd of friends gathered for Mrs. Smith’s funeral. First Christian Church was full to overflowing.
It is so wonderful to see so many people when a person has lived so long that many, perhaps most, of their contemporaries have gone before them.
It was great, too, to see the support of former classmates of Tommy, Sammye, and Kathy ... girls who had been in Mrs. Smith’s Girl Scout troop; women and men who had been taught Sunday School by Mrs. Smith; people who had shopped for so long at the grocery store.
And, by the way, yes, I always called her Mrs. Smith. That’s what my parents taught me, and even though I am a senior citizen now, it only diminishes me not to show that respect.
Even when Mrs. Smith had all but lost her eye sight, she knew my voice, and she loved to carry on great conversations!
She was a highly intelligent woman who loved her community, her church, her friends, and her family, and she did for everyone she could.
That was just the kind of person she was! Proverbs 31 describes Mrs. Smith to a “T.”
Going to the grave-side service after the funeral, Raf got my walked out of the car so I could sit, and as I sat listening to the scriptures and prayers, I saw before me on the much dug up, much trod on ground, a beautiful tiny flower called a wine cup.
It was about an inch or so in diameter, a deep purple with a glowing white center, and I thought what a wonderful testimony to life everlasting, right there at my Mrs. Smith’s grave.
A beautiful new life, a testimony to her beautiful life.
God bless you, Mrs. Smith, and may you rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon you.