Memory Eternal

My Aunt Norma Nell passed into the next life this afternoon.

I don’t know how old Aunt Norma was when she came to know Jesus, but I’m guessing from related family information, she was quite young. She spent all of her adult life living in the expectation of heaven. Being a dispensational pre-millenialist, she probably lived most of it in expectation of the Rapture, but either way she knew this life was temporary.

Her boyfriend during the Second World War was killed in the Pacific theatre, but after the war she met a slow-talking half-Cherokee named John Dale Sanders who had come back from the Battle of the Bulge with half his ear shot off. They got married on his 24th birthday, because she was three months and thirteen days older than him. I guess it just didn’t look right to her if she was 24 and he was only 23. Today, 58 years, 6 months and 14 days later, they fulfilled the vow “Til death do us part.” They had fulfilled all the others along the way.

They raised three children and two months after the youngest graduated from high school, my dad’s youngest sister was murdered by a disgruntled ex-boyfriend while her 7-year-old daughter clung to her. Aunt Norma and Uncle John took in my cousin Angel and raised her too.

I don’t know how many years they served as greeters on the doors of Oak Cliff Assembly of God. I suppose until Aunt Norma’s Alzheimer’s prevented her. Aunt Norma was quite old school Pentecostal and of very firm convictions. That’s forever a word I will associate with Aunt Norma: firm. Unflinching. Never afraid to tell you what was right and what was wrong.

Even if she hadn’t had the massive stroke, Aunt Norma Nell would not have been aware of one of God’s last gifts to her on this side of Paradise. Three days ago, her first great-grandchild was born. They named her Megan Nell.

She is aware now. For someone who spent the last several years in the haze of senility, with faces no longer familiar and the joys of life shrouded by a heavy veil, the handmaiden of God Norma no longer sees in a mirror very, very dimly. What a joy it must be just to see again, not to mention seeing the Saviour.

May her memory be eternal!

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8 Responses to Memory Eternal

  1. DebD says:

    what a lovely memorial. May her memory be eternal!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Dave, a wonderful tribute to a special lady. May her mmemory be eternal, and God grant you and all her family comfort.

  3. Michael says:

    May her memory be eternal! We sorrow, but not as those who have no hope.

  4. Philippa says:

    Dave, thank you for sharing this wonderful testimony. It truly touched my heart. In part because my dearest aunt suffers with Alzheimer’s too.

    What a beautiful celebration!

    May her memory be eternal!!

    Love in Christ, Philippa

  5. Anonymous says:

    Dave, Thanks so much for what you said about my mom. Linda and I had supper tonight with your mom and dad.

    Johnny Sanders
    n5nme@sbcglobal.net

  6. Alexi says:

    Thank you for writing this. I learned more about Aunt Norma.

  7. Honey says:

    Thank you for your memorial to your aunt Norma Nell. She was truly the “Proverbs 31 Woman”. Your tribute greatly blessed the whole family, bringing tears to many.

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