I met Kendra as a volunteer for Girl Scouts. I worked with Daisy and Brownie Girl Scouts and she was volunteering with the older girls. she has a sweet way with kids who love her to death! I introduced myself to Gwen, Kendra's mother at an evangelistic campaign at our church. Her son, Kendra's brother was a teenaged junior deacon at the time. That week, both surprised me by joining our church, first Kendra and the next day, Gwen. I thought they were already members as often as they were there--especially with Kendra's volunteering as a Girl Scout leader.
Kendra pledge grad chapter of my sorority, which was great! I've not been very active so she still keeps me up on what's going on. She's very active in the sorority with my mother. Go Deltas!
We'd go out to eat after church together and com back for BTU and evening service. Sometimes all we had to do was look at each other and start laughing because only we knew the joke. We went to the movies and our bowling games were memorable because they weren't about bowling, which none of us did well. It was about us having fun being together--and we did!
Gwen told me she went to the same high school with me in the class two years ahead of me. My sister Carol remembered her from then but I didn't. I was just happy to know her now.
I told them they had to do a Discipleship Weekend and they'd see what a blessing Kairos is. We worked on several men's Kairos team together.
Sometimes Gwen and Kendra were more like best friends than mother and daughter.
Gwen used to tease Kendra about having grandchildren and seeing her duaghter get married in a reasonable time--like before Kendra turned forty or something. "I'm going to spoil my grandchildren--a boy and a girl--and then I'll send them home."
These photos are from last June 2008. Kendra is in her early thirties. Gwen was as happy as Kendra on that day.
Last December I went to see Gwen in the hospital. She'd had a lot of health problems due to diabetes. We talked for about an hour and she was in very good spirits--except she was nervous about having a blood transfusion. She told me there was not enough oxygen in her blood and she was using a candela off and on in her hospital bed. I assured her, as a former blood donor, that a lot of screening goes on. She felt better about that.
So we started talking about good times and a nurse from her old neighborhood came in and they included me in even older times. Gwen did that big laugh of hers then we prayed together. She asked what time I was going in for my last chemo treatment so she could be in prayer. She was as excited as I was about my final treatments. She told me she'd give me a call right before she went in for her transfusion so I could be in prayer for her.
My family was leaving to see my brother in Florida for Christmas break and Gwen called to say she was going home from the hospital. "Are you all on the road now?"
"Yes," I said. It was early morning and we were on our way to Florida. We spoke briefly and she was so happy to be leaving the hospital. She said she was glad she had the transfsuion because she was feeling much better.
"Have a nice trip. I will see you when you get back. I love you honey!"
That was the last thing she said to me. On our way back, I woke up with the worse case of hives and shivers. My sister insisted on taking me to the nearest hospital so we stopped over in Tallahassee.
When we got home, I received a phone call from my mother. Gwen had passed at the same time I was waking with the hives.
At her funeral, Pastor said what I already knew--that she stayed active with us in church because she knew where she was going. I know where she is. All of her troubles of this world are over and she is in peace. I hear her big laugh in my head and in my heart. I'll hear it again face-to-face. Love ya honey!
Kendra and Gwen: Gwen helps Kendra into her wedding gown
A happy day for Gwen
Mother of the Bride being escorted down the isle
A reception photo