A Mother, a Daughter, and Two Sisters

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If I wrote the story of my life, people would be bound to think I was making it up! Telling you one simple, but out-of-the-ordinary, event that happened recently gives me the opportunity to introduce you to Gency and Kaye, who are mother and daughter, and to Regena and Karen, who are sisters.

When we arrived at my cousin Phil’s graveside service a couple of weeks ago, we looked up the hill at the Sycamore Chapel cemetery and saw two funeral tents. I began walking toward the higher one because I saw gravestones with our Boyd family name on them. The cemetery workers who waited at the higher tent told us to go to the other one, knowing that the burial where they were waiting was to be later.

At the tent set up for Phil, we learned that the upper tent was for Virginia Chloe “Gency” Boyd Frazier, another of my daddy’s first cousins, and therefore, a first cousin of Phil’s. Isn’t that strange for two first cousins to be buried on the same day? I had heard that Gency was very ill but had not heard that she had died.

Kaye — My Daddy’s First Cousin’s Daugther

I had not spent time with Gency since I was a child, but Ray and I were blessed to develop a relationship with Kaye, who is one of Gency’s daughters, and with Kaye’s husband Bill and their oldest daughter when we were all part of the same church in Memphis, Tennessee. Ray was in graduate school and Bill and Kaye were in between mission work in Liberia and the Fiji Islands.

Straight from a Graveside Service to a Funeral

At Phil’s service, we learned that Gency’s funeral was to be at a funeral home about eight miles away and was to begin just thirty minutes after his began. When we had stayed a respectable time after Phil’s, we headed for Gency’s funeral to see if we would be able to sneak in at the back.

I am glad we did. We got to see two women whom I admire: Kaye, along with her family, and Regena, whom my mother babysat after school when she, her sister, and I were little girls; I got to become re-acquainted with Daddy’s cousin Gency through the words spoken in her memory; and later I got a glimpse into the heart of Regena’s sister Karen.

Gency — Daddy’s First Cousin

The minister who spoke at the funeral knew and loved Gency. He gave examples from her life with three themes: hospitality, humor, and home. He told about her wanting to serve and to go to church even when she was no longer able to do so. Gency had verbalized why she wanted to be physically present at church: “The younger women need to see me there.”

Regena — Who Went to Church with Gency

Our little town of Gainesboro, our Tennessee capital of Nashville, and my hometown of Ashland City are all located on the banks of the Cumberland River. In May of 2010, just over thirteen and a half inches of rain fell in 36 hours in Nashville. The Cumberland River and its tributaries experienced a 1,000-year flood. The flood affected such a wide area that high water kept Ray and me away from home for two nights even though we live over an hour and a half from Nashville. However, we were only briefly inconvenienced. Eleven people in Nashville and fifteen others in the broader region lost their lives. The flood damaged 11,000 properties.

At the time of the flood, Regena’s husband was serving as an elder at the church where Gency’s husband was also an elder. Regena’s family lost their home in the flood. A few days later, while the region was still reeling in the aftermath, Regena’s husband lost his long battle with cancer and won his reward after a life of faith.

As people began to leave Gency’s funeral, Regena’s and my eyes met in recognition, and later we got a chance to say hello. She was thriving, happy, and serving.

Karen — Regena’s Sister

A few days after the funerals for both of Daddy’s cousins, Regena’s sister Karen who is my age wrote to me:

“[Gency] was such a precious soul. I’m not sure anyone can ever replace her. [Our church] is losing so many of the older ladies we learn from. I guess we are the ones replacing them. I hope I can only fill her shoes at least a tiny bit.”

The lives of those we touch will be enriched if we do try to fill the shoes of older disciples of Jesus. Meanwhile we would do well to watch them and to serve by their sides, so we’ll know what to do ourselves and so that our daughters and their generations will have someone to show them.

Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha
(which translated in Greek is called Dorcas);
this woman was abounding with deeds of kindness
and charity which she continually did.
Acts 9:36

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One comment

  1. I love how you can take events, put sense to them, and help us to see Scripture in light of the examples given. I truly believe that much that is happening in our country is because too many places didn’t have the older women instructing the younger in loving their husbands and raising their children. My prayer as I get older is that I can do for those coming behind me what I myself didn’t have as the ones I saw were far and few between as my husband and I moved a lot. Thank you for being one of those few!

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