Juicy Fruit and butter sandwiches

There are so many ways to express love to those you care about.  The older I get, the more I understand it’s not the extravagant gifts that speak the loudest.  It’s the consistent, small gestures that speak volumes and will be remembered.

“Hazie” (as my grandmother was affectionately called) was one of the most generous people I know. The funny thing is she was always apologizing that she didn’t have more to give.  “It’s not much,” she would always say…”but I hope you know how much love is in it.”

She reminds me of the lady in Luke 21:1-4…

As He looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

My most vivid memories of her include juicy fruit gum (she would gladly give you her last piece or pack), butter sandwiches (a Hazie delicacy), and she always wanted you to sit on her lap (even at 35) and sing Jesus loves the little children or Praise Him, Praise Him. She was precious. She always greeted you in a shrill “hey huneyyy!”  As much as we have tried over the years to imitate that greeting, no one can do it like Hazie.

She loved to fix dinner for her family…which included her famous fried chicken (or country fried steak), green beans, macaroni and cheese, rice/gravy, potato salad, stuffed celery, deviled eggs and tea that was so sweet that one of my ex boyfriends (who happened to be diabetic) claimed it could put you in a coma!  Some of my sweet cousins are vegetarian and Hazie just couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t have just 1 piece of fried chicken! When we were full as a tick…out came her famous carrot cake!  Even in her last days, she was planning the menu for our next family gathering.

Guess I don’t have to tell you what is on our menu for our meal tomorrow after her funeral!

She never missed a grandchild’s birthday- which was a meaningful card with $2-$5 in it…along with apologies that it couldn’t be more.

One thing I hold dear to my heart is anytime I had the opportunity to spend the night with Hazie, I would always fall asleep hearing her in the other room praying.  Sometimes I would listen for 20-30 minutes before one of us would finally drift off.

Precious memories.

A generous soul.

A sweet spirit.

Hazie….you couldn’t have given us anything more valuable than these!  And today…I believe, for the first time in your life, you will finally get to see the amazing worth of your life and the gifts you gave so freely. Your love for your family and your God will live on for generations.

I am more convinced than ever, that when we are taking our last breaths on this earth, that is all that truly matters.  Your faith and your family.

We will miss you, Hazie!

Hazie and Katie

Hazie and Katie

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