Nothing can compare to the loss of someone before their time, my heart aches with every story that I hear from a grieving parent/grandparent/relative/friend. That is why I love Holden Uganda’s mission so much, though we may not be able to take away to pain we can reach out and let others know that we love them and that Jesus’s loves them. My heart has been so full with love, hurt, and gratitude since my precious nephew passed, though we are not actually blood related I feel a much deeper connection with Holden than just a “friend”.
So I move onto why I am writing you today.
During the time that we were grieving for Holden my precious grandmother Bobbye J. Greene “Bobba Gran” suddenly and very unexpectedly passed away in her home Oct 13th 2010. We were grieved by this loss as Bobba Gran has played a huge roll in all of our lives. Bobba was a woman full of life and she never knew a stranger. Going out to eat with Bobba Gran was always an adventure because everyone in the restaurant knew Bobba Gran and they would usually end up sitting or standing at our table to talk with her. Bobba Gran was also known for her ornery streak that ran a mile wide, if she had something on her mind you were sure to be told, she held nothing back. I know several of you have those grandmother’s who are never afraid to tell you that you were getting fat, or that you are wearing to much (blank) makeup, or that you “drive like an idiot”. Well I had that kind of grandmother anyways and it only made me love her more because she usually said it with a smile or laugh and with pure love. Mine and my brother’s favorite “Bobba word” was “Stuuuuupid!” You have to drawl out the “u” and make the word go up in pitch as you draw it out. In context it would be, “leave my hair alone! Stuuuuupid!” We liked to torment her by lightly putting our palms on her well manicured and heavily sprayed grandma puff hair and gently push down and watch as it sprang back into place. She would laugh and swat at our hands and to our happiness, call us “stuuuuupid!” She was so much fun! She was also one of those grandmothers that didn’t worry if you stepped on her feet, in fact she delighted having little ones around who might possibly step on her feet, she was only worried if you didn’t come spend time with her.
Bobba had several grandchildren and she made sure to be a part of all of our lives regardless of how far away we lived at the time. She desired nothing more than a little time with her family or friends or even better a lunch or dinner date. Whenever I came to Snyder to visit she would drive her 80 year old self out to my parents house and roll up to the front door with her walker, she was not about to miss an opportunity to be with her great grandchildren. She would go all over my parents place with my older children and she could sit holding Jax until her arms went to sleep. Until these last few years she’d keep the road hot traveling long distance to visit family members all over Texas. When her eye sight and mobility decreased she would ask my mother (her daughter) to bring her to Big Spring so she could see us. She loved people and she loved her family more than anything in the world, that was her riches.
About a week before Bobba passed away I went to visit her at her home. She had been feeling “down” but was doing better but not well enough to get out herself. Jax was a few weeks old and I took the kids over so she could see them and snuggle Jax. I guess I should of noticed then that her health was declining more than we thought because as she held Jax he would slide lower and lower in her lap and I would gently lift him and her arms back up and stuff more pillows under her arms to help her. I suppose it didn’t alarm me because I had seen her weak before but bounce right back, my grandmother had a true will for life and for living and I was sure she would be fine in a week’s time. A few days later my dear mother found Bobba in her home, Bobba passed so quickly she still had the phone in her hand as she was talking to a dear friend at the time. It was hard for us to loose her so quickly but we praise God that He took her so quick. Bobba had too much life in her to end up sick in a hospital. So we know it was a gift from God to her to take her like He did.
As we built Holden Uganda it was to honor beautiful Holden and his short but powerful life here on earth. We wanted to honor other babies as well with this organization and as most of you know with your help we blew our 9 wells in 9 months goal out of the water! Now we are moving onto building wells as quickly as we can hoping to double the number of wells in Uganda by 2012.
My mom contacted me about what to put on Bobba’s head stone and it struck me that I would love to do a water well in her honor. I promise you she is up in heaven holding every child and I know she can hold them as long as she wants without the worry of her arms going to sleep. So I thought what a better way to honor my sweet grandmother than a water well amongst all the wells of these precious babies and children.
I shared this story with you so that you know that our mission is not to only build wells in honor of children but in honor of anyone! Our dear friend Ramon who started this water well mission in 2004 has even done a well for a family who wanted one done for someone’s birthday. Our first purpose is to provide clean drinking water to the Ugandan people and we will build a well for any occasion.
I thank the Lord that my losses have been grandparents who had lived, for the most part, long healthy lives on earth and I have not had to endure the pain so many of our wells represent. Though Bobba Gran was a difficult loss she lived a good long life and she had 4 beautiful healthy children and numerous grandchildren and great children. We also did a well in honor of J.D.’s grandfather, Jack Armstrong who passed right before our wedding. Jack was buried in the suit he was supposed to wear to our wedding; that is something I will never forget. Jack was a kind sweet man who served in World War 2 but refused to take any credit for his service. He was a very humble, sweet man and I only wish I would of had more time with him. His passing was very sudden and unexpected and a true devastation for us all. J.D.’s family is also saving up the funds to build a well in honor of his precious grandmother Doris Booth who we all called “Honey” who also suddenly passed a few years ago, we will write a detailed story about her well when it is funded.
I would like to thank everyone who has made Holden Uganda possible, without you there is no way we would be where we are today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
To my dear grandmother Bobba Gran, I love you and I know you will find much joy watching the children drink from your well as you are experiencing heaven with my sweet nephew Holden Erwin. Hold him close and give him kisses for me!