Sunday made a week that my grandmother, Ms. Candye, went home to be with the Lord. I feel mixed emotions about her transition. My heart rejoices because she is free from weariness and pain. She’s also in a glorious place I’ve heard about all my life, heaven. It’s kind of hard to believe she’s no longer physically with us but I am certain we’ll see her again. My family and I have enough wonderful memories and stories about Ms. Candye to last us a life time. I think the greatest “Ms. Candye storyteller” of my family would be my mom and my baby sister. You have never seen authentic drama and re-enactments until you get those two together.
Over the course of the weekend, my mom and sister reminisced about things Ms. Candye has said or done; from her making my cousin learn 14 songs for her Missionary program to her getting locked in the closet during a game of hide n’ go seek with my nephew. A lot of people have asked why we call our grandmother by her first name. The truth is she didn’t allow us to call her grandma or granny because she said it would make her feel old. So she said, “you all just call me, Ms. Candye.” Now that I think about it, it was the perfect name for her as she is the sweetest person I’ve ever known. I have one of her recipe books she wrote out for me some years ago. I may have to go and stir a few pots to try the recipes out….or better yet, I may call my iron-chef cousin to cook it. He’s a great cook just as she is. In fact, his carrot cake reminds me of hers…delicious 🙂
Ms. Candye’s homegoing service was beautiful. The love and support shown to my family was extraordinary — I am so appreciative. I bet Ms. Candye is somewhere shouting and singing in heaven. She really loved music and singing. I suppose that’s the reason why the majority of my family is graced with music abilities. This is a random thought but every Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday, Ms. Candye would have a “mini church service” planned before we ate dinner. She would say “you all come on and let’s give thanks to the Lord and do our program.” The program consisted of an opening song, the scripture, prayer and blessing of the food, and a closing song. Mind you, this was not a cappella–she wanted the Hammond organ lit up and lively. Though us kids chuckled about it back then, I now understand her commitment to honor the Lord before anything else. She once told me, “if you honor God, He’ll honor you.” Ms. Candye would often share a well of wisdom with one liners. For example, one day I asked if I could help her make a cake. I was being a bit careless with the process and she said, “Darlin’, if you rush it, you’ll ruin it.” It is that type of wisdom that guides my life even to this day. I’ll share some other practical wisdom she taught my family and me at a later time.
Small Note: Ms. Candye, thank you for being such a beautiful portrait of love and compassion. I’ll do my best to be as “sweet, loving, and kind” to others as you have been to so many people. Your life has reminded me that the greatest use of life is to spend it on something that outlasts it. Your life will continue to speak through your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and all those who have had the distinct honor of knowing you. We love you forever. Rest well and we’ll see you in the morning….
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