There aren't many people in our world like Ms. Margaret. She was one of a kind. I first came to know her through my days at FBC. She was a prissy little lady that would come to the church during the week and give so freely of her time. She would spend her Thursday afternoons labeling "The Messenger" and then she would load up several of her best friends and they'd go and have a late lunch/early supper at Red Lobster. They did this week after week. She was always at church on Sunday with her hair perfectly pinned up in place, with her sequined gold chained purse on her shoulder, her scarf tied around her neck and all kinds of jewelry. She was a classy lady and she loved a reason to dress up.
I got to know Ms. Margaret a little better one afternoon when I just happened to be driving by her house in North Meridian. She lived in a little condo off of 10th avenue and I passed the area frequently. I saw a fire truck and an ambulance parked in front of the condos. I stopped my car and walked over to see what was going on. I just had a strange feeling. She was sitting out on the curb and the paramedics were taking her blood pressure and checking her out well. When I asked what was going on, she just hid her face in embarrasment and said, "Well, I was just trying to boil some peanuts and I wasn't paying attention." She started a little fire and the smoke detectors were going off and all of the neighbors had gotten upset! She was just plain embarrased. So everytime I would see Ms. Margaret after that incident, she'd always say, "I haven't been boiling any peanuts lately!" She was just a hoot.
Months passed and Ms. Margaret had gotten to where she wasn't able to drive anymore and she became homebound. Our staff divided up a list of the homebound members of our church and it was our responsibility to check in with these ladies and gentlemen and ask if there was anything we could do to meet their needs. Guess who was on my list?! Yep, Ms. Maragaret. I'd go and visit her when she was in the hospital and I would get my children and youth to make her cards, but there was something that I got to experience with her over the past two years that I will never forget- CHRISTMAS!!
For the past two years, on Christmas day, I left my house at noon and took a fabulous lunch that my mom prepared and spent a few hours of the afternoon with her. I bought her a big Christmas stocking with things like fingernail polish, chapsticks, notecards, etc. because I wanted her to have something to open on Christmas day. We so enjoyed our time together. Ms. Margaret couldn't hear well so most of the afternoon was spent speaking very slow and EXTRA loud, but we had the nicest visits. We'd talk about the church, things in the community, sports (which I know little about), she'd show me things in her house and tell me stories about some of our mutual friends. I learned a lot from this little lady.
Ms. Margaret had congestive heart failure and had been sick a lot recently. She'd be in the hospital and the doctors would clear up her problem with antibiotics and breathing treatments, but she'd have to go right back in several weeks after. I didn't stop visiting just because she was in the hospital. Her breaths were growing shorter. Our conversations didn't have much to them anymore. But she never stopped looking at me and smiling. We were friends.
She went to be with the Lord about two weeks ago. Her son from Kentucky was able to be here during her final weeks and got to spend some much needed time with her. She was such a sweet, sweet lady.
A few days ago, I received a phone call from one of Ms. Margarets best friends. She wanted to tell me her son had been to Meridian and was cleaning out some stuff and they had decided to give me all of Ms. Margarets jewelry. I just smiled. I couldn't help but think that Miss Priss would love nothing more than for me to have her jewelry. She was always decked out with all kinds of beautiful bracelets, earrings, necklaces and I LOVE jewelry. I went and picked it up today and ya'll, I can remember her wearing every piece. It's beautiful. I am so grateful to get to have something that was always so important to her. I'll always have something to remember her by and I'll cherish it forever!