She became almost like family. We told her that we'd tell our children stories of our "Grandma Carol" one day, and even bring them to visit her. She loved the idea, having no children of her own. I like to think that maybe she considered us as daughters or granddaughters too.
Eventually, she was baptized and I had to leave her behind to serve in a new area. Then, I left Ohio entirely to return home. I tried to keep in contact, but I never really heard from her again, only hearing of her through other people.
Though time passed, she never really left my mind. She had left a lasting impression on me, watching her change and grow as she had. I looked forward to the time I would see her again.
In June of 2015, I received news that she had passed away. It seemed surreal to me. Carol was still alive to me, just far away, in Ohio.
This week, my family traveled back to Ohio to visit. Today we stopped by Carol's grave site. It was just an empty dirt patch, with no gravestone in sight. We only knew it was her burial place because it was right next to her parents' graves.
As I stared there, looking at the flowers and the lonely grave, it suddenly hit me and I realized that Carol was gone.
But then I thought of the physical ailments she had experienced all throughout the time I knew her; she had been through so much pain and her body reflected it. Those pains were gone now, and she had accepted the Gospel and Christ as her Savior.
I know she is happier there than here. And I also know that one day, when I pass out of this life, she will be waiting there on the other side to greet me. What a joyful day that will be!
Until then, I'll just have to be content with knowing that I have yet another angel watching over me from above.
"When you remember me
Please do not weep
My body may not be there
It has chosen to sleep
I'm not that far away
My soul lives on
Looking down, watching over
You and everyone
And when you feel sad
And life seems so blue
That my spirit has its arms around you
And on those special days,
Times that you wish I could see,
That cool breeze flowing past you...
Well, that will be me
So don't be sad
Have no fear
God has taken me under his wing
But I'll always be near
I still watch you
Every minute, every day
My love and soul are with you
And that's where they will stay."
-EMMA ETWELL (LINK)
Thanks for the memories, Carol.