My "Momma Dale" passed away peacefully after a long courageous battle with breast cancer on Tuesday, July 12, 2011.
Though my heart is grieving, it is such a comfort to know that she is in a place where cancer doesn't exist and there is absolutely no suffering.
When I was a little girl, I thought of Momma Dale as the "cool" grandma. Memaw (my mom's mom) was the traditional grandma - her baked goods tasted like they came straight from heaven, she was plump and cuddly, her hair was gray and she was content to sit in her recliner and cross-stitch all day. Momma Dale on the other hand was always energetic, and ready for fun! She was stylish and looked younger than she was. When we would go somewhere with Momma Dale, people always thought she was my mom - not my grandmother. I remember one time, when we were junior high age, that Momma Dale and Papa Charlie took Rachel and me to a museum there in Fort Walton Beach.. There was a lady that worked there that was amazed that Momma Dale could have teenage grandchildren and asked her what was her secret to looking so young. Momma Dale thanked her for the kind words and told her the secret was simply "Dare High", and then we walked out. Curious, I asked Momma Dale what Dare High is (I wanted to remember the secret for the future). Momma Dale looked at me confused and said, "What do you mean?". I told her, "Well, you told the lady that the secret to looking young is 'Dare High'." Momma Dale laughed and said, "Did I say that? I meant Hair Dye! She must think I am crazy!" When in reality the lady is probably still looking for "Dare High" to make her look young, too!!
We would only see Momma Dale once a year at most....ususally during the summer. We would head over to Florida to spend a week or two swimming in Momma Dale and Papa Charlie's pool and hanging out with our cousins. We looked forward to this time every year. Momma Dale would take us on shopping trips, talk about what was going on in our lives, sing with us and let us play in her jewelry. Many times she would take my sister, me and at least 5 of our cousins to a water slide park or the beach by herself! AMAZING! All of that showed us that that though we didn't live close and we didn't see her as often as we would have liked, we were special to her.
Momma Dale was such an example of how to live the Christian life. At our last trip out in March she showed amazing grace and dignity - even as she was losing the battle with cancer. Her faith is what pulled her through and let her face each day. I was blessed to see videos my aunt took of her singing praises from her bed in the last few weeks of her life. Momma Dale was a picture of the lyrics of a Christy Nockles song "the weak and dying glorifying you in it all....it's the song of the beautiful Jesus Loves Me". What a testimony!
I will miss Momma Dale dearly, but I will hold tight to my memories of her and pass them down to my children - her great-grandchildren. I know that she is now in total peace in the presence of our God.