Throughout our lives, we meet people who leave lasting impressions on us. Today was the day I met a woman I will never forget.
Shirl Campbell (better known in our area as Mrs. C) writes a column for our newspaper. Her column is a mixture of humor, patting people on the back and telling it like it is. I read her column each week and laugh, cry and have even shouted amen a time or two! She is real, honest and most of all, sincere.
Mrs. C greeted me with a huge smile and hug when entered her home. As I sat in her living room, I looked at a wall filled with pictures of her family. There wasn't room on that wall for another photo. Some of the frames had pictures slipped between the frame and outside of the glass as a way of getting more photos on the wall. As she told me who each person was in the photos, she beamed. I grinned pretty big when she pointed out the photos of Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton and autographed poster of Toby Keith. Another wall held a photo of her parents, one of her and her husband who passed away years ago and President Barack Obama. Again, she beamed with pride as she described the photos.
We spent time talking about what it was like living in a time of segregation for an article I am working on for our newspaper. We talked about race, the state of our world today, family, her bar-b-que, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., her unwavering faith in God and even a little George Strait. Let's just say she is a big fan!
I immediately felt a bond to Mrs. C. I felt like I had known her my entire life. Her home was very warm and welcoming. She made me laugh and she made me tear up a time or two. Mrs. C has seen a lot in her 68 years on this earth. Her 25 year-old granddaughter passed away this past Christmas Day after a lengthy battle with cancer. Listening to her talk about this life gone way too soon, my heart felt heavy. In true Mrs. C fashion, she said, "The doctors told us she should have died years ago, but I always told them she would die when God was ready to call her home. Everything happens in His time." Some people would find it easy to be bitter about the situation. A 25 year-old mother of four passing away from a dreadful disease, but Mrs. C praised God for the 25 years she was able to spend with her granddaughter. Her perspective was humbling.
As I drove the 30 miles home, I thought about what an impact this one woman has. She's crossed so many paths in her life and her footprints are upon the heart of not only her large family, but friends and people in the community. Her sweet spirit reminded me of my grandmother and I wondered if that is what made me feel so connected to her.
When I began thinking about what I would write in my journal tonight, I decided on a simple entry inspired by Mrs. C consisting of 3 questions I hope to answer in future journal entires.
1.What impact are you leaving on others?
2. What are you doing to make the world a better place?
3. How will others remember you when you are gone?
My wish is for everyone to meet a person like Mrs. C at least one time in their lives. Friendship knows no color and for that, I'm truly thankful.