Well Done, Ms. Melba

When my husband up and moved us to College Station five years back, it was a terribly uncomfortable experience.  Because…up and moving.  I would get so lonely that I would pick the wallet from his pocket and call him and tell him he left it at home but I would bring it right to him.

That’s where I met Ms. Melba.

Have you ever met a person for the first time whose face felt like home to you?

More than a secretary, she was the rock of that place.  Clothed daily in strength, dignity and fuschia lipstick, Ms. Melba was an eighty year old stick of dynamite.

Soon after, I would come say hello to Scott and I would be lingering in Ms. Melba’s doorway.  She came to our house for tea parties.  She would bring my girls Avon Bubble Bath and leave me with a little of her wisdom and a full heart.  The hard things of life that Ms. Melba experienced would change, and there were hard things…but she had steadfast dance in her eyes.  When we moved back to Texarkana, I missed the presence of this lady who sprinkled life and light wherever she went.

Driving to Melba’s funeral a few weeks back, I was weary.  Without anything to do with Melba’s sudden death.  Just…weary from running hard.

I led the way and we found our places in the sanctuary of our old church.  Scott turned to me, concerned, ‘Isn’t this where family should sit?  Are we too close?’

‘We are fine’, I said sweetly, but resolutely.  I knew what he was suggesting.

‘What about the kids?  Don’t you think they’ll get crazy?’

‘We are fine.’  My eyes said it this time, threw off a little spark like they sometimes do.  Melba made me feel like family and I felt like she was family so we were sitting where we sat, dang it.  So we sat there and I tried not to look at her picture yet and we sang those songs around lumps in our throats.

It is impossible to capture and celebrate the span of a life inside of an hour, isn’t it?  But stories told by family beautifully honored the heart of who Melba was here.  There was a consistent theme throughout her whole life: Ms. Melba was faithful to her God.

And all who knew her reaped every good benefit of that love.

The pastor got up and he said something so true and something I have never heard at a funeral before:  Sometimes it’s hard to find good things to say about people, isn’t it?

He went on to say that it wasn’t true in this case.  Melba inspired a bigger faith in this man who gave his life to teach others about God.

Melba inspired. 

Close to the end of our celebration of her life, Pastor Chris pointed a finger to the back of the church.  Without turning around, I knew where he was pointing.  We all did.  I would walk to this place on the way to my seat for a hug every Sunday.  With his voice shaking and tears falling around words that were hard to form, he said, ‘She will be missed.’

Driving back home from Melba’s funeral, my heart was sore.  I would miss the light this good woman brought to this world.

But I was also feeling something I have never felt before leaving a funeral…I felt bolstered.  I felt renewed and refreshed and…inspired.  I had seen an example of a fine lady running hard, running well and faithfully.  I was given the honor of being reminded of what that looks like.

Melba’s race made my life better.

Well done, Ms. Melba.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Danielle | 7th Feb 14

    Having also just gone to a funeral of a wonderful godly soul, I left thinking how interesting it is that people spend their whole lives worried about everyone else thinks of them. In the end, it only matters what God thinks. Such a joy to celebrate the lives (and ultimate death) of those who love Him so much that it radiates in every fiber of their being 🙂

    • melissablair09@gmail.com | 11th Feb 14

      There is something about a ‘good’ funeral…of a servant running, isn’t there? And it’s different. You are right…such perspective and truth…it is such a good reminder to me, about writing…I get caught thinking, ‘Is this good enough? Do people think this is dumb?’ And it SO does not matter when God says ‘Do it’ and I say ‘Yes, Sir.’ I love your guts.

  2. doris plaster | 7th Feb 14

    What an inspiring story. I could feel Ms Melba’s soul through your words.
    Doris

    • melissablair09@gmail.com | 11th Feb 14

      Doris, thank you. Ms. Melba was pretty amazing. I’m SO glad you stopped by and said hello. Thank you for reading.

  3. SB | 22nd Feb 14

    I miss Melba…… The word that was used to try and describe her at her service “Sterling” So true……

  4. Julie | 1st Mar 14

    One of my favs ❤

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