Almetta

Today I had to say goodbye to someone I was not ready to say goodbye to. My dear friend Sandi’s mother passed away on New Years day. Today we all gathered to say not goodbye, but see you later. I have no doubt I will see Al again someday.
I was completely floored when I was asked to say a few words at her memorial service. I cannot fully express what a true honor it was.
Her daughter Sandi was not only my friend, she was my mentor, my confidant, my sister in Christ, saying see you later to her was so hard, having her mother gone now brings it all back to the forefront. I will miss both of those ladies like crazy now. The world is just a little bit dimmer without Al in it. So here is my farewell to her:
There are many words that come to mind when speaking about Almetta McQuarters.
Kind, generous, welcoming, a great dancer, anyone who has been to a Mary Kay function with Al can tell you that she was the first one on the dance floor when the music started. Fashion icon, loving, joyous and, I save the best for last, a woman of God.
To be in Al’s presence meant you felt welcomed, it is a rare trait, to be able to make anyone in your presence feel like they belonged. She made it look easy, she always had a word for anyone that she came into contact with. It truly was an amazing thing to watch.
It is no mystery why, year after year, she won the highest honor there is in Mary Kay. Miss Go-Give, it simply means that she was always quick to jump in and do whatever was needed. Greeting guests, making them feel welcome, helping set up and helping clean up afterwards.
I have a story that I would like to share, to me it optimizes exactly who Al was.
After Sandi passed, some of us formed a group we called the ladies that lunch. Once a month we gather, either at a restaurant or someone’s home.
Roughly 6 to 7 months after Sandi passed away Al said she would like to host the gathering in her home.
So, on the designated day we all gathered in Almetta’s home, there was good food, great fellowship. We told stories about Sandi, we laughed, we cried and just had a good time.
Al said she had chosen some mementos of Sandi she had gathered and she wanted to share them with us.
We could each choose one. She took us into her guest room where she had lovingly laid out the things she wanted us to choose from.
This was not done in a haphazard way; you could feel how much thought had gone into the activity of choosing what she wanted to share.
As we went in, she began to guide us towards what she thought we would love the best.
She was right, what she had guided me towards was a perfect token of Sandi’s memory for me. It was a book of poetry that she would read when she came to visit with Al.
Al told me they would sit on the patio and Sandi would read to her.
She put such time and attention into taking care of each of us. In her grief, she found strength in helping others get through theirs.
That she could do this says what kind of person she was, she was strong.
She is everything Proverbs 39 talks about.
She was a woman of noble character whose worth was above rubies and we are all better for having had the privilege of knowing her.

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