Sunday, January 14, 2018

funerals and memories

I think I mentioned that this Christmas/New Year's season has been hard. There have been wonderful moments but there have been some extremely sad moments, too.  We've had a large number of deaths in our church family and I mentioned a post or two ago about the loss of another friend.  I was asked to be one of the speakers at the memorial service for Inez Lane yesterday. When I got up in front of everyone, I could not get the notes to pull up on my phone for some odd reason . . .so I had to wing it. This is what I originally planned to say . . .I covered most of this and I think I added some. On another day, I may share some memories of my friend, Gayle, that died last weekend.  I'm hoping that the act of writing down these memories will be a sweet balm to my spirit.

Karen and Inez

When Karen asked me to share a memory, my mind went into overdrive trying to remember every single thing I could about Inez. I even asked my sister for some of her memories of Inez.

As we've already heard today, Inez was indeed a generous person and I was one of the recipients of her generosity.
One of the first memories that popped into my head was how I always called Hub – “Hub” and I called Inez “Mrs. Lane.” One day we were sitting at her kitchen table at the house in paragon in Huffman and she looked at me and said, “why do you do that? Why do you call him Hub and me Mrs. Lane?” I said, "because you are Mrs. Lane!"  She said, "you can call me Inez." I said, “I don’t think so.” I can’t remember but I’m assuming that may be the day she became Mama Lane. 

I think the next memory that flooded my mind was of her teaching 3 year old Sunday school with my mom. For those of you who don’t know, my mom died when I was 15 and Inez/Mama Lane stepped in as my surrogate mother. She and Hub fulfilled that extra parental roll very well. Hub and Inez dragged me on just about every one of their family vacations – we spent time in the mountains and at the beach and even spent a week together on a cruise ship. They took me to Maplesville and Andalusia with them almost every time they went and I remember sitting on a big front porch (I had to verify with Karen that was Mamie Ruth's house) and shelling peas!

I can remember all the countless times I spent the night with them. I still remember the set of books that she purchased and “hid” from us about the facts of life. This was when they lived in that house in Roebuck that felt like it was way back in the woods. Karen and I thought we had found a treasure trove in the bottom of that linen cabinet in the bathroom and we kept it secret.  Fast forward many years and we were grown ups getting together for some reason or another and Karen and I were laughing about finding those books and Inez said, “you know I did that on purpose. I knew if y’all thought you weren’t supposed to look at those books you would sneak and read them!” She was a smart one!

When I think back over my life – especially those years from 3 – 30, Inez is woven into the tapestry of my life – into my very being – into who I am today. She was often the golden thread that kept me together. Mama Lane was so many things to me -- mother, friend, party hostess – she hosted several parties/meals/gatherings in my honor over the years, meal preparer – countless meals at their house and sandwiches on vacation – I even remember when our twins were born 31 years ago and she showed up to cook dinner for us one night and she brought peas – she remembered the smallest details -- those peas that we shelled all those years - my favorite thing from the garden -- she remembered that I LOVED peas from the garden and brought some from her very own freezer to cook for us.

Inez was a spiritual guide, GA leader, chaperone on every church trip, and a wonderful example of a Christian who lived her faith. She loaded us up into her car, along with a birthday cake, and drove us down to Spain Rehab at UAB to have monthly birthday parties for the patients.  She helped us memorize scripture. She was ALWAYS doing something for someone else.

Inez Lane helped shape me into the wife, mother, friend, and follower of Jesus I am today. Thanks be to God for creating such a special woman.

1 comment:

  1. So very sorry for your losses...and what a lovely tribute to Inez. Thank you for sharing this.