Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This Past Week...

I have been MIA for the last week for a couple of reasons:

My family went on a vacation to Colorado to visit other family last week. It was a really fun few days!!

But before I can share stories and pictures on that trip, I need to share the other reason for being MIA.

We arrived in Colorado Thursday afternoon. That night, at 11:30 p.m. I got one of those phone calls you never want to receive. It was from my good friend and co-worker Melissa Murrell letting me know that one of our other co-workers was in the hospital dying. This was very sudden and totally shocking! I couldn't believe it. An hour later, I received the phone call that confirmed she had in fact passed away. I can not tell you the shock I felt, especially being so far away.

So we cut our trip a day and a half early so I could make it back for the viewing and funeral. (Thank you Mom and Dad for being so understanding.)

Mrs. Ileeta Watson has been a dear friend/mentor of mine for 1 1/2 years when she started working at our church as a fellow secretary. The hours of conversation her and I have had in the office are countless (all while working of course :-)). She truly was the sweetest, most encouraging person I know. She definitely is one of those ladies that lights up every room she is in and everyone who knew her was drawn to her sweet spirit.

She has been battling cancer for 5 years, but was doing great. And you would never know because she rarely said a word about the pain she was in. A few of you know that the weekend of the Siesta Fiesta, instead of going to San Antonio, I went to Houston to go with her to MD Anderson for a couple of her radiation treatments and just be with her. She was away from all of her family and friends for 3 weeks while she got this special treatment for a spot they found on her jaw. At the time, I was really sad that I was missing being with you guys down in San Antone, but now I could not be more grateful for the time her and I had together just the two of us that weekend.

Ileeta will be greatly missed on a daily basis here in the office! Yesterday was the funeral, so today is our first full day in the office without her here and it isn't easy. Her office is dark and empty, quite the opposite of what it normally was. But we are trucking along knowing she is free from cancer and pain and with her Heavenly Father. I will never forget the many ways she has impacted my life.

Ileeta has two daughters, Natalee (24) and Candace (28), and two grandsons that are going to have a rough road ahead of them. Her oldest grandson, Logan, is Ella's age and in his innocence has already asked for his "Gigi" several times. Her mother, Alma, also goes to our church and is still alive. They were very close. Please keep this family in your prayers.

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Melissa said...

Peace be to Ileeta's memory. And peace be to your heart.

Kelli said...

I just said a pray for the Watson family. I am so glad that you have those precious memories from MD Anderson with her. I know it meant the world to her to have you there and to not be alone.

MamaCass said...

Janelle, I had no idea that you went to Houston to stay with her while she was there. That was so sweet of you. I know she appreciated that. How awesome that you shared that with her! She was a remarkable lady. I have looked up to her since I arrived at FBCI 14 years ago. She will be greatly missed by all of us but she is so happy right now!

Holly said...

I will be praying for her family and church family and also...for you. I know that those times are so precious together with one another. It just makes you savor them all the more.

Love you!

PS Wish you were in my part o' Colorado! If you come back, will you let me know? I'd love to treat to to lunch or coffee!

Lindsee said...

Sister friend, so glad that you got to enjoy some time in Colorado (one of my favs!), but had a heavy heart for you as I read this. I am so thankful for you that you got to spend time with her in Houston, what a good friend you are. However, I am praying for y'all at the office. I can't even imagine! But, also rejoicing that your sister is healed!

Sending many hugs your way, friend!


Lolly said...

I am so sorry for you and her family, but as a believer, you all know she is in a much better place than we are. I saw her obituary in the paper and wondered if you knew her. The picture caught my eye because she was so young and BEAUTIFUL!

Phil and Lori said...

Hello. I do not know you, but I learned about Ileeta through some blogs. I lost my mom suddenly at age 19 so this caught my attention. I have prayed for her daughters. It's so hard to lose your mom and the shock of the suddeness is hard to work through. I have a question....was she still married? I've been confused because the obit mentions her husband but no one requests prayer for him. My email is toddtribe@verizon.net Thanks. I am a minister's wife in San Angelo and this story along with Kristi Walker has just burdened my heart. Praying for both families.

Jake said...

I'm not sure about yall gettin a lab. I know that they are GREAT dogs, but they are SUPER hyper. Bella is pretty calm, but I'm pretty sure that she has been abused. The more time I have her, the more she jumps and plays and stuff. So, I'm not sure how Ella would do.

connorcolesmom said...

I am so sorry about the loss of your friend Ileeta. I will be praying for her family as they deal with the loss of such a precious woman.
She was beautiful and it is hard to believe she was a grandmother.
I hope to see pics from that Colorado trip - what a fun place to visit!

Funky Cold Medinas said...

Yes indeed.

Helen said...

How hard for all of you & her family. ((hugs))