Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My mother, Merriam "Boots" Wiggins entered the company of the saints, yesterday at 4:30 P.M.  My sister, Penny, and my sister-in-law, Mary Jane were at her side.  The poem below is for her:

Mom, God Saw You Getting Tired

God saw you getting tired and a cure was not to be
So he put his arms around you and whispered ‘Come With Me.’
With tearful eyes we watched you, slowly fade away,
Although we loved you dearly, we would not make you stay.
You tried so hard to stay with us but your fight was not in vain,
God took you to His loving home and freed you from the pain.
A golden heart stopped beating, hard working hands at rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us, He only takes the best.
If flowers grow in heaven, Lord, then pick a bunch for me. 
Then place them in my mother's arms and tell her they're from me. 
Tell her that I love and miss her and when she turns to smile, 
place a kiss upon her cheek and hold her for awhile.

Since I can't be there, the following will be read at her service:

A Few Words About My Mother, Merriam Wiggins:

Boots was a kind and gentle woman.  If there were only four pork chops and all four of us kids already at the table, she would say she just didn't feel like eating pork that night.  Like any mother, she was both proud and disappointed by me and probably the other kids as well.  She never punished when I did really bad things but she would cry for failing at being a good mother.  She gave me the inspiration and support for the injustice of segregation.  We got in more trouble for saying the "n" word than the "f" word at our house.  She was a devout Christian and never missed church.  She was clever, witty, and very smart.  She loved to play Scrabble and used to beat me like a drum with great regularity.  She worked the crossword and the Jumble every day well into her late eighties.  But what I remember best is a
quote from Martin Luther King she once told me while I was in high school and I never forgot.  The quote: "If man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live."  I moved away from home when I left for college and went far enough away that I seldom went back.  In California,
Karen and I both taught in ghettos and fought for desegregation.   Even when I turned my back on God, she didn't give up on me.  While living in Los Angeles, she sent me the book "The Christian Agnostic" and had highlighted the sections she thought would appeal to me.  Robert Brault said, "If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not
already been."   She lived long enough to know that I was consecrated as a bishop in the Methodist Church in Tanzania.  Her Sunday School class has been faithful for years in supporting our mission here.  I'm pretty sure that at the end she was proud of what I had become.   Because we are poor missionaries living in Tanzania, we can't be with you today in body, but we are there in spirit.  There is much I wish I had said to her and done for her, but thank God for Penny to stand in for us.  Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote that "The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone."   That is true for me.  I will always miss you Mom and I will never forget you.  Thank you for never giving up on me even when
I gave up on myself.  Give Dad a hug for me.  I love you.


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