We will pause on our journey with David and playing on his harp to remember Norma Watkins, my mother, playing on her piano.
You have walked with me over these past months as I agonized over decisions and effects of the aging process. Mother began rapidly declining the past couple of weeks. Last Saturday I went to see her for the last time. Her breathing was labored. The nurse encouraged me to keep talking to her. “Hearing is the last thing to go,” she said. I talked, read Scripture to her, and sang the old hymns she had played for years. Somewhere in those moments she quietly slipped out into eternity.
She had a wonderful life and packed a lot into those 96 years. Yesterday, I wrote my memories to be read at her funeral this Saturday. I always thought of her as an active, fun-loving person, serving her family, her friends and her Lord. She played the piano at many of the churches she joined and they were many, for we moved often through the years due to Dad’s work. She taught piano lessons as well. When she wasn’t playing piano, she sang alto in the choir along with Dad who sang bass.
She led children’s choirs and taught children’s Sunday school classes. I fondly remember her flannel graph stories. They launched me into a love for God’s Word and the many characters of Scripture. Who would have imagined that one day I would write books about them? She taught youth and later, adult classes.
Mother was the quintessential homemaker of that era, cooking delicious meals every night, keeping a spotless house, sewing, washing her clothes and hanging them out to dry. She loved and served her husband and only child. She loved having parties with friends and usually had a round of funny action games to entertain them and send them home laughing.
When two grandchildren came along, she became Mimi and loved playing with them. Her true love died twenty years ago. Those years were filled with seven great grandchildren. She sang in my senior adult choir, wrote skit and drama scripts, and taught her class of senior women up into her 80’s. From basketball in high school to tennis in her 70’s, she remained active and full of life.
In retrospect, I realized what an influence she was on my life, passing along music, teaching, writing, and caring for family. What a legacy of serving God and her family. She was instrumental in leading me to the Lord. What more could I ask?
Mother circled a verse in her Bible where Jesus said,
“I give them eternal life and they shall never perish. No one shall snatch them away from me.” John 10:28 (TLB)
Next to it, she wrote, “What a promise!”
And so, I offer up this blog today in honor of this wonderful woman, my mother, Norma Deane Watkins. She’s basking in the glory of heaven.
~ Joyce ~ a grateful daughter