Norma Watkins, My Mother

Searching His Word
  Seeking His Heart

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

30 thoughts on “Norma Watkins, My Mother

  1. Elizabeth Hoagland

    So, so dear and sweet, Joyce. I was thinking of you this morning thinking I needed to check on you and your Mom and to tell you of my Father-in-love’s passing last Sunday! Visitation today & funeral tomorrow (Thurs., Fri.) We were with our loved ones at the same time! I’ll be praying for you this weekend. Big hugs and let’s have lunch again soon! God Bless You, Elizabeth

    Reply
  2. Carolyn Smith

    Joyce, I sorrow with you in the passing of your dear mother, and I rejoice with you that she is safe in the arms of Jesus. What a wonderful legacy of faith and truth and wisdom and service and joy she has given you. I pray that you will be comforted and encouraged by God’s Holy Spirit as you say goodbye. George and I send our love to you and Jim.

    Reply
  3. Lynette C Keeling

    How beautiful – what a lovely tribute, and what a legacy she has left. You have a lifetime of precious memories to recall, especially in the times when you are missing her the most. God has blessed you and will continue to do so as He comforts and strengthens you with His love, peace and abiding presence.

    Reply
    • Joyce Cordell Post author

      Thank you, Lynette. My heart goes out to you in this time of challenge with your mother. Looking back at old pictures helps to remember the better times. i pray God’s strength for you

      Reply
  4. Mary Jean Boone

    What a precious account of her life she raised a fabulous daughter and took care of so many more. We were blessed to know and love her. Thanks for sharing her with us.

    Reply
  5. Becky Cordell

    Oh, Joyce, how we grieve with you, but at the same time, rejoicing that she is in His arms singing praises! We remember her with great affection. She was a gracious and kind soul. We’re grateful to be able to love her only child. Such blessings God had allowed. We love you.

    Reply
  6. Bonnie Duell

    What a wonderful tribute to your mother! She was all those things to so many people! She taught her sweet daughter well! Love and hugs to you and Jim and all the family!!💙🙏🏻

    Reply
  7. Gale Cox

    Such an elegant reflection about a life well lived in the name of Jesus Christ. Your Mom is with the angels praising God for His promise of eternal life for those who accept His grace. Praying for strength for you and your family during this difficult time.

    Reply
  8. Harry & Barbara Cordell

    We loved Mimi and loved that beautiful smile and precious giggle. She raised a beautiful young lady who lived her parents dearly and has always shared her love for the Lord. We feel blessed to have known her and regret our inability to be with you during this time of sorrow. We love you and are praying for you and the family.

    Reply
  9. PAT H

    I’M SO SORRY TO HEAR OF YOUR MOTHER’S DEATH. MOTHERS CAN’T BE REPLACED. MINE IS 99 YEARS OLD AND HAS LIVED WITH ME FOR 5+ YEARS. SHE HAD A MJOR STROKE AND IS RECOVERING IN A NURSING HOME. I SEE HERE A LOT AT THE NURSING HOME BUT STILL MISS HER PRESENCE IN OUR HOME. PRAYERS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY

    Reply
  10. Doris Wallace

    Joyce, what a beautiful tribute to your loving mother. May you be filled with loving memories as you journey through these difficult days. Prayers.

    Reply
  11. Mary Bolton

    Lovely tribute to your mother, Joyce! I’m praying for you during the difficult days ahead! Peace and grace to you. Mary

    Reply

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