It’s been a tough year of loss for Trey and I. We lost his Pawpaw unexpectedly and then that same week Trey’s very good friend “Uncle” Bill passed away unexpectedly as well. That was so rough. Shorty after Trey’s uncle went to heaven too. And now here we are, this week we received the phone call that Trey’s Mawmaw had made her way to heaven. Friday at 7:45am we made the 11.5 hour journey to be with our family in Kentucky. It wasn’t an easy trip but it was one we didn’t want to regret not taking! 

Trey hasn’t seen this side of his family for about two decades and I had not met the majority of them. It was so wonderful being surrounded by such welcoming and kind people! Trey’s cousin Rickie and his wife Kathy (who we had not ever met before) opened their home up to us and fed us so well. 

Although the loss of our friends and family have been so hard to accept there’s always a takeaway from each service we attend. For one, what a blessing to know that these beautiful souls are now with our savior and no long experiencing the pain that took them! That is very comforting! 

At little Mawmaw’s service, this verse stood out to me, 

Work willingly at whatever you do. As though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
— Colossians 3:23

Ms. Betty loved to cook. They had ten children in their home and her husband was a farmer so they always had farm hands in their home too. She cooked for them ALL! Not because she felt like she had to but because she wanted to serve!

When Trey was a young boy he remembers spending two weeks in Kentucky with his grandparents. Ms. Betty had made everyone a huge breakfast with sausage. She noticed Trey didn’t like sausage so she offered to make him a hamburger patty instead! After ALL that cooking she went above and beyond to cook one more thing. During that week, Trey rode on the back of his grandfather’s tractor and put seedlings in a shoot while they planted a field. My husband planted a crop in Kentucky! That’s so cool!!! 

Orville, my father-in-law, farmed with his dad every day before school and as soon as he came home from school! He would milk their cows and help tend to the tobacco crops. Below is the home he grew up in. A tornado hit the farm not too long ago and the current homeowner is still working on putting it all back together.

My mother-in-law, Taryn, was the daughter of a preacher. Her dad, Jerry who passed away this year too, built a church in their town and that’s what brought her to Carrollton, Kentucky. Her and Orville met in high school, fell in love and moved to Georgia where her dad had started another church.

Above is the home Taryn and her family lived in for about five years before moving to Georgia.

Ms. Betty worked as a waitress at a local restaurant and also worked at the General Butler State Park. We drove through the park on our way to her house and then made our way to the Ohio River for a gorgeous sunset.

We stayed in Ghent, Kentucky with Trey's second cousin little Rickie and his wife Mrs. Kathy. They live on family land that Rickie's dad owned and left to him and his sister, Lisa. We woke up to the most gorgeous views of rolling hills! Just over that last hill is Indiana!

While it was ONE HECK of a drive, 20 plus hours and we spent less than 24 hours there in Kentucky, it was much needed time with family! We drove with Chastin, Trey's sister. and I'm so thankful for our conversations, laughter and tears we shared! That would have never happened if it weren't for little Mawmaw bringing us all together!

Ms. Betty wrote the sweetest poem while sitting in the hospital with her dying husband. It was engraved on their headstone.

A night without rest and so long is the day watching your loved one slip slowly away. At times catch a smile while his eyes show pain. Listening so quietly as he calls out your name. It’s okay to be sad and it’s okay to cry for the time has come to say good-bye. You have to let go knowing you’ve done your best and let our Lord Jesus do the rest. With outstretched arms He’s waiting for you’re loved one from the past leaving you with precious memories that will forever last. So let not your heart be heavy as he watches from above as you say your last farewell.
— Your loving wife Betty