character!

The best index to a person’s character is:
a) how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and
b) how he treats people who can’t fight back.  __Abigail van Buren, Dear Abby

Haven’t had much heart for writing this week.  Our precious friend Sallie has gone home to be with her Jesus.  We miss her!

For too brief a time she was a daily part of our life . But in those short two or three years we learned so much about character from her.

D met her first.

He came in the house one morning laughing out loud and pointed out the lady walking along the lane toward her home with a tiny ball of fur on a leash at her heels and a bag of grapefruit in her hand.  She had stopped to chat with him.

“Hi! I’m Mustang Sallie. This is Willow.  Got any extra grapefruit?”

From that day until the middle of June, hardly a day went by that Sallie and Willow didn’t stop for a chat over our fence.  We learned to love them both.

Her style was unique.  Usually dressed in jeans and boots (often red boots) she walked around our community spreading laughter and cheer to all she met.  Over time we learned that she played bass guitar in a Country Group that “opened” for Dolly Parton at one time and had played in every “honky-tonk from here to Nashville.”  We learned that she was a crack shot with a bow and arrow, joining her archery club at meets right up until she was hospitalized for the first time in March 2012.  We learned that in her younger years she was a Pastor’s wife, but had only recently started going to church again after a 20+ year hiatus. We learned that she had raised five boys and had buried three husbands, holding her head high and remaining cheerful through it all. We learned that Mustang Sallie not only was a character – she had character—real character. God given character!

Sallie loved people!  And people loved her.  She was one of the most positive women I’ve ever met.

We loved her!

Her passing was sudden and unexpected; and exactly as she would have wanted.  She was hospitalized on the 18th with pneumonia, spent a week undergoing tests and “procedures,” and was sent home with a 3 to 6 month prognosis.  She had a fast growing, aggressive form of lung cancer that was already spreading to other vital organs.  When she called to tell me about it she said, “I’m okay with it. Sorry!”

Sallie was ready to meet her Lord and He came for her on Sunday afternoon as she was surrounded by family and celebrating her amazing 84 years on earth.

When two of her friends stopped by to let us know, my immediate response was, “Praise the Lord!”

She was spared the ravages of cancer.  The fear.  The pain.  “Praise the Lord!”  She went exactly as she would have wanted.  And today, she is celebrating in Heaven.

What a character!  What amazing character.

I want to be just like her when I grow up!

 

 

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