Submitted April 2019 by Betty Jane Urban Caskey
My Uncle Buddy
Many years ago, the death of a ten-year-old boy brought the Adventist message to our family. My uncle, Edward Franklin (Buddy) Urban Jr., bled to death from a tonsillectomy. He left behind his parents and a six-year-old brother.
My Grandparents, Paw Paw and Maw Maw
My grandparents were in such deep grief, seeking hope and comfort. They belonged to the Baptist Church in the neighborhood. Their neighbor and friend, Mrs. Sipes, also attended the same church. She told my grandmother about some meetings she was attending. Mrs. Sipes suggested that my grandmother would find peace and answers if she would attend.
When the alter call was made at the end of the meetings, grandmother went forward. Later she joined what is now Shreveport First Seventh-day Adventist Church. Her pastor was a favorite of hers. She told me many stories and lots of messages he brought to his congregation.
Through a following group of meetings my mother joined the Adventist Church. Mother bought all those big old hard back books Sister White & others had written. She also bought the Bedtime Stories for my sister and me. Oh, how I loved them, the stories were so much fun to read—hard backed, each book sporting its own lovely color.
My grandparents went weekly to tend Buddy’s grave. Flowers were brought. Most of the time I went along learning to care for his grave. Later my baby sister, Bonnie, came. She was four years younger than me. All the graves around and near Buddy’s grave were older people. I delighted in checking out how old they had been. There was a pond added to the cemetery after several years. A pair of beautiful white ducks became residents, to our delight. We now brought a slice of dry bread or two in our pockets to feed those ducks every week. We admired their beauty, learned about their habits, watched their movements, and listened to their voices, even making up stories about them.
My Maw Maw was my confidante, and we shared many secrets throughout her life time. Maw Maw & Paw Paw were like a second set of parents to us. We loved them so much. When Paw Paw became ill, I prayed so much and so hard for healing. As a fifteen year old, I could not imagine that he would not survive. I drove him when he needed me to help make his deliveries, since my grandmother did not drive. Now the times he needed help was mostly driving him back and forth to the hospital for treatments. The time they kept him I still remained sure he would get well and come home. However, one day as I sat on the sun porch of our home begging Jesus to heal my Paw Paw, a sudden peace came over me. God sent me comfort. I had seen what was evident—he was slipping away. He could die. He was my most favorite person in the whole wide world. We laid him to rest in that grave site near Buddy. Many years later we had to open a third grave site—for my Maw Maw. That day it poured rain. It was as if all of heaven sent tears, blending with ours, to mourn this precious lady.
My Paw Paw & my Maw Maw helped so much to raise Bonnie and me. They had a deep understanding love, such kindness and empathy, they taught us so much just by living their lives. They helped me to love the outdoors. Maw Maw and Paw Paw always made a garden, and from the time I can remember I was out there helping and learning. The vegetable gardens meant tasty dishes. The flower gardens, beauty and artistry.
After Jim & I married and began raising our children Maw Maw was there to help us with our two children. What a blessing she was, helping in many ways. I could always depend on her. But oh, how I wished they could have known my Paw Paw.
My sister and I now tend the graves. Here my children enjoyed walking through the cemetery. They were acquainted with Buddy & Paw Paw. Now Maw Maw sleeps. We all await to hear Jesus call their names. What a great blessing they were to us.
Time has passed, the years rapidly speeding by. We are now grandparents. Now my parents sleep at the same cemetery, my Daddy and my Mamma. The cemetery where we were first acquainted with death so many years ago has now filled up and crossed the road. That’s where they sleep.
We were so blessed. My Daddy worked hard and provided a good life for us. My mother could do anything—she was really so clever. She taught me that I could do anything too. They were good parents and grandparents! They took us to church school, Sabbath school and church. Now they sleep.
As We Wait
We also wait, hoping to see Him and hear Him. Will we also sleep, or will we see that little cloud out in the east? The righteous will come out of the graves and those who choose life are caught up with them.
Mason Young, our two-year-old nephew, sleeps—accidents are so cruel. We wait to re-acquaint ourselves with him. Mason, the first son of Sheri and Andrew Young, will be surprised to see that he has two brothers and a sister. The angels will bring Mason in their arms to his parents.
We praise our Savior, love and honor Him. But when we see His face, we will no longer wait. Let us all put forth an extra effort to finish this work. I want to see Jesus. I want to go home. I want to see my loved ones. I want to see my angel. I want to see my family and friends. I know all of you do too.