However, we lost someone else Friday that cuts very, very deep. The boys and I were in the kitchen, with my recipe book open ( it is filled with handwritten recipes from family and friends) to the peanut butter cookie recipe written by Glenda Tyler. It was around noon, and we were planning to bake these cookies, and then pack the boys' bag to spend the night with Nana and Pops...when I got a frantic call from Nana (my mother). She told me not to bring the kids over now, that her neighbor, the same Glenda Tyler whose recipe I was currently using, was being loaded into an ambulance. We found out an hour later that she had passed away.
This one hits us all like a ton of bricks. I never remember a time without her. She was friends and neighbors with my parents, taught me Sunday School and Children's church, was in our group of Rod Run friends, and was like that favorite aunt that you could call to share anything with.
She championed for me to get a phone in my room when I was 12, she encouraged my parents to pay me for my good grades, and she was a constant source of flat out hilariousness. Mimi Tyler was present for every milestone in my life. She helped host my graduation party, wedding shower, baby shower, was present for my wedding, the birth of my children, their birthday parties, etc. She took me on a trip to see her family in Liberty. We went to the outdoor theater to see The Sound of Music and she got up in the middle of the aisle to belt out her own rendition of "The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music". She took myself and a friend to a neighboring church as little children and scared us to death because the members were very charismatic and were jumping around and squealing. I clung to her dress as if they were going to scoop me up and sacrifice me. Incidently, she had no idea that was going to happen.
When I got my driver's permit, I drove to her house first. We shared a love of glitter, sparkle, shoes, and jewelry. She was unique, incredible, hilarious, kind hearted, and wonderful. Mimi loved the Lord, she loved Elvis and Coca Cola, and had about a 100 pair of rhinestone glasses. She loved Oldie's music, shopping, and her family. She had an extended network of friends because she was a magnet. You could walk into a room she was in, and be instantly drawn to her.
So this Christmas began very somber, very empty, and full of tears. The night she died, I went into my closet to get presents out, and ran across a box of cards. In the box was a card she had sent me for my graduation. I don't know why I kept that particular card, but I am sure glad I did. She had covered that card in a beautiful handwritten letter to me.
But as I cried, my youngest child said something that brought me peace. He said, "Don't cry mom. When we die, we will see her again." I thought about that and his simple faith in God's promise to us. I found myself being incredibly jealous of Mimi, that she was able to see my grandmother and celebrate with her family members that have passed. It is comforting to know that she is rejoicing today...the day we celebrate our Savior's birth...with God himself. It almost doesn't seem real to me. I am sure it will seem real at her funeral on Tuesday.
I hate to get so deep on this blog, but it is mine, and it is a record of my life and experiences. This is mine. I forced myself to smile and celebrate Christmas for my children and for their happy experiences. Our Christmas morning has been beautiful, relaxing, and blessed. We are blessed beyond words. Tomorrow I will post some pictures of our Christmas festivities, but today I wanted to post some pictures I found of Mimi Tyler.
The lady in the right in the purple...that's her....at my baby shower
There she was in a black dress, behind my car at my wedding. Yes that is popcorn filling my car...
Here she was in pink, at my graduation/18th birthday party
And, here, in the middle as a hostess for a graduation breakfast for me...
And this one is my favorite....Mimi Tyler at the hospital, holding Caleb at less than 24 hours old.
Hug your family members today, even the crazy ones. Merry Christmas to you all!