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Monday, November 16, 2009

sister wendell

My brother called yesterday to say that sister Wendell had died. Sandy was looking for my phone number along the grapevine of connected families. He called on his way home from work on Sunday morning with her phone number.
Sister Marie Wendell was in her early nineties. I want to say ninety two, but I’m not sure. She was a short little lady who loved feeding big groups of people. Ralph and she raised five kids, four girls and one boy. She loved her children. She loved the Church and she loved the Lord. What better testimony can we leave?

She fell about a month ago as she was moving from bed to sit on her chair. When she sat down she misjudged and went down on the floor. Brother Marteney could not lift her up and had to call the emergency squad. She was hospitalized briefly with several cracked vertebrae, but then the doctor allowed her to go home for a short while. I’m not sure of all the details involving her health, but it hasn’t been good for the past three or four years. I talked with her on the phone last week and I know she was in a lot of pain. She returned to the hospital and The Lord took her home in her sleep in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Her youngest daughter Sandy and I were good friends during my high school years and through college. She married and I moved to New Mexico and our lives took separate paths but the connection still remained. They rejoined for several years when my kids were young but when the congregation we attended took a position against holiness and the man of God, they separated again-not with bitterness or rancor on our parts, but just different directions.

I spent many Sunday afternoons in sister Wendell’s kitchen. Sandra was like a sister to me and sister Wendell was a second Mom. She loved the Lord and held a tight standard to her children. Some might feel that it was too strict; I know her children did when they were younger, but I hope that they understand now that she was doing her best to provide them with the principles she knew would take them to heaven.

Sister Wendell lived for the Lord many years before her husband gave his heart to the Lord. I was overjoyed when I got word that he’d been saved. Ralph testified to me that it was brother Hafley’s love and witness that brought him to the Lord. It was a joy in the few years after that to see the two of them together in service. When he went to be with the Lord several years later sister Wendell seemed at a loss for what to do. She continued to drive to services until she just wasn’t well enough to do so; then people from the congregation began driving her up and helping her in other ways.

After a fall and other health problems about three years ago, she married brother Marteney from the local congregation. She told me that he had compassion on her because she was looking at having to go to a nursing home and he didn’t want to see that. They were married and he took her home to care for her faithfully until her death on Friday. I guess technically she was sister Marteney for the last couple years, but for me and many others she remained "sister Wendell." Thank the Lord, brother Marteney understood that.

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds. Psalm 116:15-16 Sister Wendell’s bonds have been loosed. She left this earth to be with the Lord.

The holy hills of heaven call me
To mansions bright across the sea
Where loved ones wait and crowns are given
the hills of home keep calling me
This house of clay is but a prison
Bars of bone hold my soul,
But the doors of flesh are gonna burst wide open
When the Angels sets my spirit free.
I'll take my flight like a mighty eagle
When the hills of home start calling me
Dottie Rambo
Listen to the song on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYMC03-Bo4A

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