Mom was Juanita Carter, one of the good guys. A small package of a woman but someone you cannot forget. We met Juanita when we were looking for a church after moving to Florida years ago. We met the fantastic team of Juanita and Wayne Carter. We hit it off immediately, I did say it is nice to have a pastor who was older than I. LOL
But we came to know and love Juanita. She always had a smile. I remember in one conversation, she said something I will never forget. She had fought and won the battle over cancer years before. Our conversation came to folks accepting or denying cancer treatment. Her words were soft but firm, "When the doctor says, 'take the treatment there is the possibility of life', do not take it and it is sure death." She paused for a moment, smiled and said, "When someone says your choice is life or death, you take LIFE!"
She chose life and was able to continue to be a support and sounding board for her dedicated husband, and a sweet support for many who leaned on her and her husband.
Towards the end, to be honest, we did't know what to do. We wanted to visit, but didn't want to cause her any confusion. You see, that terrible word and mind thief, Alzheimer's had shown up.
She is at rest, in a better place (we say) but as my good friend Sonny said after losing his wife, "I don't care what is said, I want her back!"
I know Debbie, Linda, Diana, Gene and especially Wayne will miss her terribly. We have reached the age we say goodbye to loved ones we thought would be here forever.
Well, we learn no one will be here forever, but we also learn we will miss them on earth 'forever'. Memories are imprinted, those eyes and that smile hold you captivated. But we think and sing of a day we will see our loved ones again. My dad once said of Sherry's mom at her funeral, "You miss Susie now, and she loved you, but if you could see her now, you couldn't get her attention, she is seeing things she has only dreamed of."
None of us could get Juanita's attention now, but one day we will.