I am remembering my cousin Patsy who passed away unexpectedly a few days ago. Patsy was born a decade before I was born, and I realize that she really wasn’t that much older – just enough to be my babysitter. As I reflect on her, may I always be reminded to redeem the time.
I remember when she was babysitter for sisters and me when she was a teenager all those years ago in California.
I remember that she and my mother had a close relationship.
I remember that she was a talented dancer during those American Bandstand days in the early 60s. She was smooth and had that gift of natural rhythm.
I remember that she taught us to twist and that I attempted to do the mashed potatoes. (I say “attempted” because I couldn’t do that dance very well, but she was ever so patient in trying to teach me.)
I remember that she was soft spoken.
I don’t remember when she left California and moved to Missouri; but when we moved in 1965, there she was!
I remember that powder blue, 1965 Mustang – a stick shift – that she drove. (Wow, what a car; and I got to ride in it!)
I remember when she became a mother, and then I became the babysitter.
I remember how much she loved that baby and that she entrusted the supplemental care to me every now and then.
I remember that she remained close with my mother all through the years.
When I grew up, my life took me away from our hometown. I missed a few decades of knowing her intimately.
On the day she left this world, Mother called me early in the morning and asked me to pray as Patsy headed into surgery. I did.
I was shocked when Mother called me in tears with the news later that afternoon and said, “Please let your sisters know.” I’m glad my mother was at the hospital with Patsy’s immediate family.
Although we don’t understand this timing, God was not surprised. He welcomed her home on her appointed day. We are left grieving but not without hope. If Patsy were here right now, I wonder if she would say: “Love today, forgive today – for who knows if you have tomorrow except the One who knew I would not have tomorrow.”
In honor of her memory, may we all live, love, laugh, and forgive – not tomorrow, but today.
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16 (NIV)