This past week Shaun’s grandmother went to be with her Savior. Patsy Davis was like a mother to Shaun and she raised him as one of her own. She immensely loved my babies and I’ll never forget her for it.
We affectionately called her ‘Mema’ and I’m so thankful for the legacy she left behind. She loved Jesus and exhibited that love to so many others around her. Throughout the funeral, visitation, home visits, and phone calls to the family, I have learned what an impact someone can have on a community through ministering Christ in practical ways. She cared for the sick, fed the homeless, listened to the broken-hearted, and was a genuinely joyful person to encounter despite her own physical pain and ailments. She didn’t boast in her achievements or complain about her less than ideal circumstances of physical limitation. She was full of laughter and cheerfulness.
I have so many precious memories of her dear character. I’ll never forget the time she mailed me home-made pumpkin bread all the way to Scotland just because she knew I liked it (though we all had a good laugh when it arrived smelling like mold and vinegar!). Or the countless times she held one of my children insisting I take a shower or sleep later. Or the many phone-calls & cards she sent, the tea parties with Jane, the peek-a-boo kisses to baby Hugh, feeding the dog & riding the four wheeler with Augustine. We could always count on a massive breakfast when we stayed at her home and she went out of her way to love us well. I had no clue that the love we experienced from her was also being poured out to hundreds and hundreds of other people she encountered. She didn’t know a stranger. We even continued to receive her love after her death as we opened christmas presents she was unable to give in person. She loved Christmas. She loved to give. Her generosity was fitting to each person as she carefully selected gifts she knew they would enjoy. Christmas will not be the same without her thoughtfulness and cherished traditions.
She taught me how to love my husband well. This year would have been her 55th wedding anniversary and she spoke of Papa with utmost respect and affection. They talked to each other for hours every evening before bed and modeled a close companionship. She married him a month shy of her 15th birthday and had her first child in their first year of marriage. She modeled self-discipline and a hard work ethic in the way she learned to raise a family. Her aged hands showed it. I also loved watching her cook. She cooked with such ease as combing your hair or brushing your teeth. She knew the exact ingredients and timing to make a perfect southern meal. Yet, I don’t know if she loved watching people eat good food more than she loved eating good food herself. She could tear up a heaping bowl of neapolitan ice-cream. And I loved hearing her repeated comment on the tastiness of her meal.
I mostly enjoyed hearing her talk about Jesus. She loved going to church and fellowshipping with the body of Christ. She loved listening to the choir sing familiar hymns. She often talked about the sermon. She had comforting security about the way she described her relationship with her Father. She knew she was a sinner, and she knew the beauty of the cross. She was looking forward to seeing Him soon and longed for all of her family to know Him in the same way. I could tell a hundred more stories to communicate the loss of her presence. It’s been hard this week to say goodbye to such a sweet and kind friend, and I only knew her for a few years. (Which is why I know Papa, Shaun, and others grieve much more deeply than I). But it is an unexpected relief to know she is in heaven, without any pain, and living life at its fullest.
Patsy Ann Rouse Davis lived well, and she died well because she knew her Jesus well. March 9th, 1944 – December 29, 2013.