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.