My sister Pauline was a bit of a tomboy. The second oldest, of which both were girls, I think she was a sort of Daddy's 'boy,' until his sons came along, anyway. At any rate, she grew up brave and adventurous. Almost 9 years younger, I can still see her up in the top of a pecan tree shaking the branches so the rest of us kids could gather the treasured harvest.
Daddy had been away for a long trip to California, and she was the one who heralded his homecoming from the pecan tree-top. "I see Daddy!" she shouted, to our happy surprise. Later, she would accompany him there where both found work in Buena Park. I think that created a life-long fondness for going out west.
Pauline was widowed at the tender age of 25, when the father of her three young children died unexpectedly from a heart attack. Summoning all her strength and courage, she held her family together while restlessly seeking a new beginning. The spunky young mother, kids in tow, stoically drove several times to California where she had Christian friends and a warm welcome.
My dear sister took Jesus as her savior as a young teen, and was fervent for the Lord her entire life, becoming an ordained minister who even established churches. It was she who took me to church for the first time when I was about five years old, getting me there as often as she could.
It was at that small, country church that the impressionable youth learned the hymns and gospel songs that she loved to sing. Somewhere along the way Pauline picked up the guitar, which was the perfect accompaniment to her lovely, lilting voice. At some point, the talented young woman made professional recordings and CD's, a stash of which was found after her passing. I have been given one to treasure.
Pauline's entrepreneurial bent found her starting several businesses and enterprises, some of which were more successful than others. In later years, as my sister's load lightened, so did her mood and personality. She was funny! She loved to joke and make other people laugh. Her wonderful sense of humor endeared her to us all. Her songs in her own voice surrounded us in the prelude to her funeral. She was singing about heaven. I've no doubt that she is there, maybe even making the angels smile!