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Monday, June 29, 2009

Beautiful Carrie Bell

I went to find Bean in the waning hours of a neighborhood party last night, in the filtered, sparkling light of dusk, to take her home with us for the night. I crossed the grass of two back yards and saw her sandals haphazardly kicked off and abandoned on the back porch next door and I looked at them for a long time, those shoes a symbol of so much to me - her joy, her freedom, her love of these summer nights (and summer days) among all the people she loves so much.

And then I heard her shrieks of glee and looked up from my reverie to catch a glimpse of her, those wild blonde curls bouncing and blowing in the wind as she appeared, skipping around a rich green, grassy corner toward me. In that instant her face absolutely radiated happiness and belonging - her beautiful smile lighting up every corner of her, and every corner of me, too. I looked at her, paused a moment, and turned and walked back to the party. I just couldn't be the one to make her leave, this time.

So I sent her father.

He sauntered off and returned minutes later with his daughter in his arms. I looked into Bean's eyes, searching to find out how this abrupt end to the fun time with friends made her feel. She wasn't grinning anymore, but as she lowered her head to her father's shoulder and relaxed into the safety and comfort of his strong embrace, I knew she felt as joyful as she had just minutes before, perhaps more so. And peaceful. She had the peace of knowing she was with her Daddy, who would safely and gently carry her tired little body home.

Al's mother, Carrie Bell, for whom our Bean is named, passed away this morning. She was 90 years old. I know that although she'd grown frail and feeble and worn down, her Father found her with a happy, full heart and swept her tired body up in his strong arms to carry her home, just as her precious eighth child did her twenty-something-eth grandchild less than twelve hours before. I know her face is peaceful, her soul full of joy to be snug in the arms of her Father, whom she has loved and trusted and believed in her whole life long.

Praise God and thank You for Grandma Carrie Bell. Thank you for her strength, which came from You, for her love and faith and joy and wisdom born of sitting at Your feet all through her long and sometimes difficult life. A wonderful mother and wife, she gave her children and husband and extended family and community every ounce of herself, and will forever be one of the standards I'll hold myself to as I continue to care for her son and grandchildren, of whom she was so proud. Hold her tightly, God, and please be with her family, those who will go on for a while without her and miss her every day, but in whom she still lives on because of her love for You, and for them. Amen.



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24 comments:

  1. You always paint such a beautiful picture in my mind with your words.

    My love and prayers as your family misses Carrie Bell. Praising God that she is "free" of this world to dance with her Heavenly Father.

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  2. I am so sorry for your loss, for your entire family. Give Al big hugs from the bloggy world.

    This was a wonderful tribute to what must be a wonderful woman. Many hugs!

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  3. I'm so sorry to read of your family's loss honey. All my love and healing thoughts to you all.

    How wonderful to be able o see an amazing lady's spirit live on in Bean :)

    Hugs xxxxx

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  4. Oh my! What a wonderful legacy for your children. I wish they could have held on to her for a few more years to come. I'm so sorry for the loss that comes with losing someone so dynamic.

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  5. What a beautiful tribute to her! It's such a blessing to know where she is now, but still hard to lose those we love. I'll keep your family in my prayers.

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  6. I'm so sorry Al's mom is no longer on this earth . . . and grateful that you have the reassurance that she's safe in the arms of Christ.
    Love to you as you grieve,
    Nancy

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  7. I'm so sorry you're feeling the void left when someone so beautiful and wonderful physically leaves your life, and yet I know the way in which the beauty lingers... covering, swirling around the family left behind, for years and years to come. Praying for you and Al, and the rest of the family in the days to come, sweet friend.

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  8. This was a beautiful post. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  9. Beautiful post. So sweet.

    I will keep you, Al and the rest of the family in my prayers.

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  10. I'm so sorry for your loss. This post is beautiful, and touched my heart.

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  11. I'm sorry for your family's loss. You've written a beautiful tribute to her. I'm tearing up and I've never met any of you!

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  12. So sorry to hear about your loss...I will be praying for you and your family. :(

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  13. Thinking of Al, you and the entire family in this time of mourning. So very painful to lose someone we love, especially when their light has shown so brightly. Our sincere condolences at the passing of another child of God, dear Carrie Bell. May she live on forever in the hearts of those who knew and loved her. Bless ya'll.

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  14. I'm sorry for your loss. Your post is beautiful and moving. You should consider preserving your words for your children.

    Nate's Mom

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  15. Oh, Al and Megan, I'm SO sorry to read the words I've just read. She sounds like an incredible lady, incredible child of God, incredible leader, and incredible servant. I know there is peace in knowing she is with God, but I also know of the moments of your day that will be quiet now without her. My hope for you as those moments scream in their silence that you fill them with wonderful memories of your mom, and that as they days go on, your pain fades, but your memories don't.
    Much love and hugs and prayers.
    :o)
    ~Melissa

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  16. SWEET MISS OKRA YOU MUST HAVE A GOOD HEART FOR YOUR WORDS TO ALWAYS BE ABLE TO TOUCH ALL OF OUR LIVES SO. YOUR HUMOR IS NEVER WASTED ON ME BUT TODAY YOU MADE ME CRY. FROM ONE MOTHER TO ANOTHER WHENEVER YOU CAN REMEMBER CARRIE BELL WITH YOUR CHILDREN SO SHE WILL NEVER BE GONE.

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  17. What bittersweet thoughts of a lovely lady. I'm sure she will be sadly missed. May the spirit of her live on in memories. Gods healing blessings on you and your family.

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  18. Oh, my heart aches for you and Al and all those Carrie Bell left behind. I know we don't mourn as those without hope, but the mourning is still so very real and very hard. Wishing I could wrap you up in a big hug right now and drop off a casserole or two while I was at it.

    This was a gorgeous, touching, perfect reflection. My heart and prayers are with you all.

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  19. Megan, Please tell Al that I am thinking about him. I'll keep you all in my prayers, too. Hugs to you all!

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  20. Oh I'm thinking of you all too! I'm so sorry for your loss, and my heart goes out to Al right now. Your post was SO beautiful, and captivated me the whole way through. What a beautiful picture Al and Bean painted of what came the next morning in heaven. Praise God that she's HIS! :)

    I'm praying for you guys. xxx

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  21. I haven't been here in a while, and was saddened by your news. But as always you put such love into every word that it is a poignant,touching tribute to Grandma Carrie Bell. I am sure God is holding her tightly, and He is watching over all of you.

    God bless you & Al and your beautiful children, rest in Him.

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  22. I am sorry your family has had to let go of a dear member. You do such a good job expressing yourself with words. Sounds like your children have a rich heritage.

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  23. Oh Megan, I'm so sorry I missed this! I haven't read any blogs in ages...but wanted to pop in and say hello only to read this.

    {{hugs}} and condolences to you and your family, sweet friend.

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