Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!


"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Friday, August 14, 2015

A Sad Week

Hello everyone.  Maybe you've noticed that I've not posted for over a week. If you follow me on Facebook, then you know that I lost a precious family member last week.  Today, I want to tell you a little bit about my sister-in-law, Missy, and I will  get back to my normal schedule soon.  It just doesn't feel right to just jump back in sharing new projects or new treasures for the shop right now....those things seem so trivial.  I feel like honoring Missy, if only for a minute.  

Melissa Ann McAlpin Hanks was "Missy" to those who knew and loved her---and that was/is a lot of people.  (You can't even imagine the outpouring of love and help from the community and their church--it was nothing short of amazing to witness.)  

My brother, Harold, and Missy were married over twenty-eight years, as a matter of fact, they married just four months after I got married.  I remember thinking that I was old enough to be getting married at 26, but they were too young!  They were somewhere around 21 or 22...Anyway, they built a beautiful life together and it was centered around God and their five children.  I remember there for a few years, we referred to her as "Fertile Myrtle" because she was always pregnant!  Their oldest daughter is the same age as our son, so our two children grew up together and are still close today. Missy loved those children. They are all now young adults, ranging in age from 27 to 19, if my memory serves me correctly.  When looking back over their life together, it's the kind of story that we all should hope to leave behind when all is said and done.

Missy loved Facebook. Whenever we were trying to find out about local news or something that we had heard through the grapevine, my 82 year old dad would ask me if I had checked in on what he lovingly referred to as MNN (Missy News Network) to see any updates.   Yes, she was the one who kept everyone informed, even tagging me when she would hear of escaped prisoners down in lower Alabama.  She was the one who always wanted to make sure we planned family gatherings (which she also did on Facebook!)  She was so Facebook savvy!  I sometimes wondered how she typed all of those posts so fast...

When I mentioned family gatherings, it reminded me of another thought...I'm already worried about who will bring the pecan pies to our Thanksgiving dinner. Missy made the best pecan pies in the world, and we always depended on her to bring them.  Her sister, Karan, tells me that she can give me the recipe, but I'm sure there was something special Missy was doing to make them perfect that I won't know about...I guess they'll enjoy some good pecan pies in Heaven if they have a Thanksgiving celebration there...If Missy's in charge, she will plan one, I'm sure of it.

Missy called me "Little Martha" because I love to cook, decorate, and make things...a lot like that famous Martha.  She always worried that she didn't know how to do those things, but, in reality, she was good at it.  I remember a snowman Christmas tree that she made that was the cutest thing ever!  I know there are pictures somewhere (probably on Facebook!) but it would be hard to find them looking through the thousands of pics she posted...She also did pretty baked goodies for holidays.  If it was for Christmas, it would have some pretty decoration on it that said "Christmas"...and for other special occasions, same story.  She was creative, she just never saw it in herself or fully appreciated the things she made.  I will miss her creative spirit and being called "Little Martha."

Missy was a beloved bus driver for the local school system for years and years...I'm not sure exactly how many, but I'm sure she was probably getting close to being able to retire from the job even though she was only 50 years old.  When the awful news of Missy's passing came, and the school put another bus driver on her bus to begin the new school year, they found a bus with the front dash area decorated with pictures of her family.  That was Missy...her family was never far away--they were ALWAYS in her thoughts and prayers.  Her children on the route will miss her as do her bus driving buddies.  They were a close-knit group.

In closing, I want to say that I will miss you terribly, Missy.  Watch over us...You know some of us need more help than others, so keep a close eye on them!  Enjoy visiting with your mom and dad, our mom, and all the other relatives who've gone before.  We will see you when we get there.  Thank you for all that you were to us.  Love you.



My brother Harold and his wife, Missy.

I will start back with my regular blog posting on Monday.  Have a good weekend, and hug those you love...You just never know what life will throw at you next.

18 comments:

  1. I'm so very sorry for the loss of your sister-in-law Judy. She sounds like an amazing woman who will be loved and missed by many! Much love! David & Naomi

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  2. Judy,
    What a beautiful post about Missy...she sounds like one amazing lady. I have been praying for you and all of your family since the moment you received that awful call. You are a very strong lady with deep faith and I am happy to call you my friend! When you feel up to talking...give me a call.

    Blessings,
    Linda

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    1. Thank you Linda. I appreciate you my friend.

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  3. I've been keeping you and your family in my prayers. So terribly sad, and I didn't realize Missy was so young! This is a wonderful tribute from you and a reminder to us all that life is precious. Make the most of it by spending time doing good, quality, meaningful things. Not sitting in front of the TV like so much of society does. Thank God for Missy's life and for giving her such a loving sister-in-law!

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    1. Thank you, Leslie Anne. Yes, she was too young to go, but I guess God needed her more. I agree with what you said about how we spend our time here on earth...This has really made me contemplate how I should spend my time. Thank you, once again, for your kind words.

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  4. What a lovely tribute. As the school year is just about to start, I imagine all her bus kids will be missing her very much. Good people like Missy make an impression on kids. The holidays are going to be the hardest to get through. My heart goes out to you and your family.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, she did have many "little" friends from her job driving that bus, just as I'm sure you will have little buddies as you feed them daily. I appreciate you and your friendship.

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  5. Judy, I'm so sorry for your loss. Missy sounds like a wonderful, caring, loving person that touched so many lives. Just reading your post, I can feel the pain and the loss that's in your heart. One never knows how much time we have with our loved ones, and you are right, we should cherish every darn moment! Keeping you and your brother and family in my prayers.
    Cindy
    Edith & Evelyn

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    1. Thank you, Cindy. Missy was wonderful, and that's what I want people to remember about her. I appreciate your kind words.

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  6. I am so sorry for your family's loss Judy, and so enjoyed reading your special words about Missy. She must have had an incredible spirit to raise 5 children and bring so much joy to those around her. You have been in everyone's thoughts and prayers and I hope your sweet memories will help heal your heart
    Jenna

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    1. Thank you, Jenna. I appreciate your sweet comment and we do indeed have many sweet memories that will continue.

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  7. Judy, this is a lovely tribute. She was one of the friendliest, most down to earth ladies I've ever met. I am heartbroken for those children. Our daughters, Amy and Leslie were friends in high school and I have cute memories of birthday parties, proms and spend the night parties where Missy would pick up Leslie at my house. She always treated me like we'd been friends forever.... she never met a stranger. I'm so sorry for your loss and the community where she lived.

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    1. She was a friend to all, Kim. Leslie and her siblings will most definitely need the prayers of anyone willing to whisper one, and a hug whenever you see her again. Thank you for the kind comment.

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  9. I'm so sorry for your lost. Prayers with you and your family through this time. Thinking of you from myself and all of us at Alabama Women Bloggers.

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    1. Thank you so much. I appreciate the thoughts and prayers.

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  10. What a wonderful tribute to what sounded like a wonderful woman! I am so sorry for your loss! I will keep you and your family in my prayers that God lets you find peace and eases your sorrrow!

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