Myrtle Olene Paulk 3-26-1924 – 12-25-2014
I typed the word “Tower” into my Google search and more than twenty-one pages of pictures came up! There were towers of every description, the Mile High Tower, the Eiffel Tower and an old landmark, the Leaning Tower of Pisa along with towers carved by nature’s deft hand, such as the Devil’s Tower, towers from all over the world! The description says, “Towers are tall structures almost always taller than they are wide (almost always?).” There are radio and TV signal towers, cell phone towers. There are smaller tower type structures called “Lighthouses”, getting closer now.
The one type of tower I didn’t see mentioned was a tower that in most of our lives are towers of light, strength and an unchangeable love, it is the tower of hope, encouragement and help that is our Mother. My mother was always the source of all the above-mentioned elements in the lives of my siblings and me and most of all she was all those things to my dad. There have been times when I saw daddy, back bent from working all day physically building our church, come in so tired he could hardly put one foot in front of the other but after a few moments of mother hovering over him and admiring how hard he had worked then placing a big plate of food in front of him he was a new man. She was fiercely loyal to the ones she loved never wanting to believe anything bad about them. For awhile when some family members made the national news, she firmly denounced the stories saying that she had been told they weren’t true, so that meant they were all just lies perpetrated by jealous people. When, down the road, the reality hit her that there was truth in them, she nearly broke under the grief of it all. But she was resilient and was always able to pop up back like the clown we had as children that you could knock all the way to the floor and it would spring back up smiling!
Moving from church to church, visiting the sick, cleaning church toilets and helping cook dinners to raise money, she did it all. Without her, life for our family would have been a lot more difficult.
God used a woman to bring us His own Son in the flesh. In Judges we read about Deborah, a woman who actually judged Israel and without whom Barak refused to go into battle! Women are the “kingpin” (the most important person in a group or place) in a lot of our social endeavors, and for all the good we do, without guidance from the Holy Spirit we are nothing.
On this day, her fourth birthday in heaven, we celebrate and thank her for all the times she stood by us, we respect her resilience and strength for all the years she stood by daddy, who would have been the first to admit that without her by his side his ministry would not have reached the wonderful level that it reached in their 70 years of marriage! I tell her that love and appreciate her and hope that she is listening in from heaven.