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Happy Woman!
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 “Minnie” is almost 97, agile and young at heart. She can still place both hands flat on the floor without bending her knees or getting dizzy. “My only problem," she says, "is I forget things, like what day it is.”

She suffers no physical pain, but her heart pain is deep on this day I visit. I’d not realized that the young passenger killed in a late-night auto crash a couple weeks earlier was her beloved great-grandson. The grief is still raw and fresh and we let our tears flow freely as we talk and pray together.

Minnie moans a little in her sorrow, but suddenly she straightens her back. “Oh, what a foolish, selfish person I have been! I have been crying about my loss, MY loss. Think of the boy’s father. He has lost his only son! Three years ago he lost his wife. Her funeral was in the same church. What greater grief than mine is that poor man suffering! He is the one I must think of and pray for.”

Her face alight with new purpose, she raises her arms heavenward. “It is my Jesus who helps me see beyond the grave—MY Jesus!  And it is my Jesus who will comfort.”


I cherish this brown-skinned, blue-eyed daughter of an African princess and British gentry. “I am number five of twelve,” she reminds me, “but we were rich and had three servants. I was always the sensitive one who knew when there was a need. I am the only one of my family who really believed that God and Jesus are real. All my life since I was twelve years old I have known that!

“I am a very happy woman. Do you know why? It is because never in my life have I said ‘No’ to someone in need. When I married, I moved from London to Jamaica. I cared for other people’s children in my home. One mother came for her child. She had lost her job. I said, ‘leave your child with me. You cannot get a job if your child is with you. Keep your first pay for your needs. With your second pay, you can pay me again’.”

Joy shines in her eyes. Her life story fascinates me but not as much as her character. It’s a life of no regrets; a life lived with humor, faith, generosity, and gratitude. Though she often forgets to eat the food offered to her at the home where she now resides, she never forgets to daily feed on the Word of God. Her heavy, large-print Bible long ago split in two. Daily those worn Scriptures are spread open side-by-side. Her present study is comparing the lives of Joseph and Jesus. “Did you know each one was sold for pieces of silver?”

I nod, and she exclaims, “Oh how I love MY Jesus! Because of him, I am a HAPPY woman!”

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By Lois Pecce. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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