Sunday, May 8, 2016
"To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep...."
Recently a friend from high school passed away. We weren't really close, he was a few years older than me but he lived for a while in my neighborhood and I always thought he was a nice guy. I wouldn't have normally attended the funeral of an acquaintance like that but it turned out his sweet daughter married my amazing nephew and just like that we were almost family! At his funeral I noticed several folks on his moms side had the last name "Rains" and then someone mentioned Maytag. Please join me for a moment for a stroll way, way back down memory lane to connect the dots....
My family hails from down near the Verden, Pocassett, Dutton, Chickasha area...from the time I was knee high I remember the name "Totsie Rains!" Not only was he a Maytag Man but he was a preacher and he was a friend of my Grandma Jackie (Roxie Anna) and my Grandpa Huse (Houston Carlton) Harman. I had the opportunity to meet Totsie on numerous occasions and he was a character. He had a voice that you couldn't ever forget and he could preach a sermon that would literally raise the rafters in the little white church my grandparents attended. It just so happened that when my grandparents moved off of their farm place they purchased a house just behind Totsie's church!
Flash forward to the mid-80's after my grandparents had gone where "the roll is called up yonder..." As things were being taken care of legally, my Mom felt a tugging on her heart to give funds to Totsie's little church for a steeple but I was a kid, I had no idea the gift had been given until we were at the funeral of my friend.
I stepped over to the people and asked if they were related to Totsie and the woman said, "he was my Dad!" I was so excited and quickly told her who I was and grabbed my Mom to make the introduction. It was then Mom shared the story of the steeple. What a thrilling connection to make and what an incredible story from both families of love, friendship and God's beautiful way of bringing people together even in the saddest of circumstances!
A few weeks ago, I was crazy blessed to take my parents to Oklahoma for a class reunion. We took some extra time and drove past my grandparents old house on Wisconsin Avenue in Chickasha, Oklahoma. I was excited to drive around the corner and see the little neighborhood church where Totsie used to preach still standing and blessed with an active congregation still today. Here is a picture of the cross and the steeple that was given in love! What a story to pass on to our kids and grandkids someday!
Happy Mother's Day, Mom! Thank you so much for being an example every day of my life!