The "Queen Mother" Has Gone To Be With THE King
I’ve been wanting to honor my grandmother, Kate Washburn, who went to be with the Lord on October 18th, with some words worthy of her. In this season of Thanksgiving, I am deeply thankful for all she meant to me, so I’ll try to do her justice! I just wish every one of you could have known her and experienced her wit and wisdom, her ready smile and her strong faith. For those of us who are soon to join her in heaven (it will certainly seem soon, I’m sure), we will get to hear the stories and share our own. And for those of us who were close to her on this earth, it will be one big celebration to see her dancing instead of hanging on to something just to walk!
My grandmother may have been 96, but she never lost the joy of living, and except for some medication-caused fuzziness, she kept her mind too! Her one-liners were famous, and I’m sure her sense of humor was one quality that helped her overcome the hard stuff of life. She was a devoted wife and after caring for my grandfather at the end of his life 9 years ago, she moved in with my parents only 15 minutes away from us. One of her favorite, private moments each evening was reading one of 575 love letters my grandfather had written her that she kept in a few boxes. As her eyesight failed in the last few years, she let my mom read them to her…and then even allowed our family to read them in the last few weeks of her life. My grandparents’ love story puts The Notebook to shame (and you guys out there, start writing those letters!)
I owe a huge debt to both of my grandparents, for putting their love for me in action. Fortunately for us, they lived only a few miles away as my brother and I were growing up. That meant lots of visits, meals and playing in their huge back yard, complete with a bridge over a creek – truly a kid’s paradise! When our family went through the pain of divorce, they jumped in and helped even more than usual. We not only learned about God’s love from them, we also experienced it. They truly put feet to their faith and my brother and I tagged along – many times – as they served our church, neighbors and anyone in need.
And then there were all the family gatherings – Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners at their home, annual vacations to the North Carolina mountains to visit family, weeks at the Baptist assembly grounds in N.C. and New Mexico and even some memorable beach trips with our kids and cousins. My life story is rich with memories of my grandmother starring in many scenes.
To summarize, if such a life can be condensed into mere words, my grandmother (“Nanny” to her 6 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren) fought the good fight and finished the course. She not only lived a life that honored the Lord, she “went home well.” This woman that I knew as a student of the Bible and prayer warrior, even in her 90’s, took her last breath here on earth, only to take her next one looking Jesus in the face. How fitting that her last words were, “I’m happy.” My prayer for every one of you is that you know as certainly as she did, that your salvation is real, your future secure, and your Savior waiting! Right now, with all she is knowing and experiencing in the presence of her Lord, she would most definitely want to ask you, “Are you sure?”
|Happy at last - 2009-11-29|
|dear debbie: How blessed you are to have such a loving grandmother. Personally, I never new mine. now, I'm grandmother to seven and great grandmother to three..Everyday, i wake and wonder what God has in store. Sleepover, picnic or shopping. All are heathy and happy, and being raised in Gods love. Bless you Debbie and Michael for all you do in this world, we love you.|
|by Linda Reed|
|a godly heritage - 2009-11-26|
|Thanks,Debbie for sharing your grandmother's life with us. I was touched by the impact she had on your family. Reminds me of in Proverbs 31:25 " Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come." and v 31" her children rise up and call her blessed". She and your grandfather have certainly had a godly impact on your family and all the lives they touched, even to us who didn't know her. Thankyou for sharing her testimony. God bless you! Would love to hear more from you.|
|The "queen mother" is with the Lord - 2009-11-24|
|I had a few conversations with her on the cruises and in Nashville. You could tell she was a woman who loved the Lord, a woman who loved her family, a woman of prayer. I am captivated by those who have walked with the Lord a lot longer than my 35 years. Thank you for sharing her story.|
|Praying Grandmothers - 2009-11-24|
|Hold up your families in prayer and fill your cups full of the Holy Spirit so that they over flow on the Family around you. Remember that you truely are the Light and Salt to your families and God hears your prayers. This is a testamony of that Fact.|
|by jon S|
|FAMILY - 2009-11-24|
|Dear Debbie: Your tribute to your grandmother was such a blessing! Every family should be so blessed to remember beautiful memories of a woman so in love with Jesus! As Thanksgiving approaches it is so fitting that your tribute would be shared with so many around the world who should be thankful for loving grandparents. I pray my grandchildren feel the same as you when I go home to be with the King! Thanks for sharing!|
|love u - 2009-11-22|
|Love U Deb! Thank You!! xoxoxo I'll never forget the Queen Mother... I think of her daily & the great advice she always gave me! xoxo Bless U! xoxo|
|by Diane Dike|
|How wonderful is the death of a saint - 2009-11-20|
|Thanks for sharing this beautiful testimony of your nan.My joy in this testimony is that she is with the lord. How many people can confidently say that their love ones are with the lord. All is not lost,is just a matter of time for you to see her again face to face at the marriage supper of the lanb in Jesus Name.Take heart,it is well.God will console the entire family in Jesus Name.|
|Great Tribute - 2009-11-20|
|What a wonderful tribute to a great lady who shared the love of God with everyone. Look forward to meeting her when I go home!|
|by Mary West|
|Cryoj - 2009-11-20|
|I’d view the people of to ascertain that too!|
|Your mom.. - 2009-11-20|
|She has been the longlasting support and the love ever you cannot forget..
She is still living among us..
The works which she did, still renew our lives..
God bless her work..|
|by John Galt|
|Growing and sowing... - 2009-11-20|
|Deb, hello. YOU are a great Godly woman, who has had a tremendous stronghold in YOUR family! and Praise the Lord, an influence also as such on many. It is wonderful to share the Lord's work with you!
Your tender words lend the imagery that the years led you all into where you are now, and certainly the depths of where you all were. What a wonderful tribute for us all to share.
Over 575...I think a few of us readers were moved to brush the tear; what an honor! Really I think love letters are the epitome of the deep... (I,with a grest smiling sigh, "how romantic!") (Yeah, John better get busy!) And to hold them and have them for the generations is so fabulous!
Her Godly legacy is the treasure, and a key. Praise Jesus. How He leads! I adore Amy's "Lead Me On" (of course being the lyrics of MW, which are also intense imagery), and find myself holding on to those words when situations are really pretty bleak...and Praise Him, "the peace that passes understanding" is Above It All. It sounds as though that is and has been lived through: the arrival, the ultimate arrival. Amen Deb. You are your grandmothers legacy. I am praying for peace and wellness in The Lord's day for you and your family. And for some welcome down time as the great and mighty MWS entourage takes rest and calm. But boy, what a great tour! Wow. Love, and all for His Kingdom and Glory, MaryLou|
|Wonderful - 2009-11-19|
|What a wonderful grandmother you had, thank you for sharing. I lost my father suddenly on Oct 24th, and am trying to heal. I know he is in a better place and is also dancing after using a walker and a wheelchair for the past couple of years. Blessings to your family at this time.|
|Your Nanny - 2009-11-19|
|I'm very sorry for your loss. It sounds like you & your family have been very blessed. I loved reading about your nanny reading her love letters from your grandfather every night. How sweet! You've been blessed to have her in your life and blessed again to be comforted knowing she's home in heaven. Thankyou for sharing your memories of your nanny.|
|Kate - 2009-11-19|
|Kate left a lasting impression on everyone that she met. She was a true child of the King...I can only imagine that she is dancing with Jesus today...|
|by Joanne - Franklin, TN|
|Your Mother - 2009-11-19|
|I never met your grandmother, but your mother, Anne, was my editor at Zondervan. I found her to be a gracious and Godly woman. From what you say of your grandmother, I can see where she got it from.|
|by Barbara Bennett Paynter|
|Thanks - 2009-11-19|
|Thanks for sharing the beautiful memories of your grandmother. Grandmothers are a real treasure. I'm sure your grandchildren will have wonderful memories of you also. I think she would be so proud to read what you wrote about her. She was truly loved by her family it sounds like, and that is the greatest gift she could have received.|
|So beautiful!! - 2009-11-19|
|Wow, I am at a loss for words... thank you for sharing such a beautiful testimony of your grandmother's love, faith, and discipleship! May God heal your heart, and may rivers of joy inundate your soul! God bless you!! Ps.46:1|
|A wonderful eveningof praise and worship - 2009-11-19|
|I'm a church pianist and accompanist for middle and high school choirs in Wichita, Kansas. Even though I knew about MWS, I really didn't become a fan of his until a high school student turned me on to his ministry and music. Let me tell you, I had the best time at your concert, Michael, and the praise and worship was incredible. Thank you for all you are doing to promote the Kingdom of God. God bless as you continue in your ministry.|
|by Tony Gowin|
|What a Blessing! - 2009-11-19|
|Deb, Thanks for sharing such a wonderful tribute. God's promises to future generations of his faithful children is proven in your life. Thanks for the support, encouragement, and patience you have certainly shown as a wife, mother, and servant of the King yourself for the last 28 years especially. BTW--Belated Happy Anniversary, and heartfelt thanks for allowing your husband to minister in Davenport on that special night. God bless you. I love you.|
|by Laura U.|
|Thanks - 2009-11-18|
|Thank you for the beautiful memory of your grandmother. As with the others posting before me, I have tears streaming down my face. It makes me miss my mammaws & pappaws. I'll see them someday and what fun we'll have.|
|by Kathy Fuller|
|"Grandma Kate" - 2009-11-18|
|Debbie - What a fitting tribute to an incredible woman. Kate and Anne joined our Life Group (Shelton's) for lunch one Sunday after church and I was so blessed by them that day. What an amazing legacy for you and your family - as well as the church family! Kate's mantle now rests upon each of you. I know you will carry it well! Blessings to you Debbie!(PS I miss my NRF family - I'm in Kansas caring for my Mom who has Alzheimer's. Such a blessing to watch Steve's sermons online!!)|
|by Linda Snyder|
|Hospitality - 2009-11-18|
|Oh, so beautiful. It sounds like you learned what I learned from my Grandma: hospitality - putting their love in action! My grandma was 92 when she passed away. Your post brought back precious memories.|
|Beautiful - 2009-11-18|
|What a beautiful tribute to your grandmother, and how wonderful that she got to spend 96 years on this earth! In the last 2 years, I've lost my grandmother, grandfather and my father... and while it has been *very* tough, it's comforting to know they're together now, in a place much better than here. And, there's no more pain for them.
Blessings to you and yours...|
|by Kari Hentzelt|
|Grace - 2009-11-18|
thank you for sharing this testimony. She is Home.
|Kate - 2009-11-18|
|Thank you for sharing, Debbie.What a beautiful tribute to Kate.It has brought tears to my eyes as well. It was my great pleasure to meet her on the Alaska cruise. I remember talking with her one day and looking in her eyes as she patted my hand-one of those people you can just see Jesus in their eyes. I still picture Michael's dad pushing her around the ship in her wheelchair....and she was always smiling. Definitely an incredible woman,who raised her family well..your mom is amazing as well, as are you...shows just how special Kate was. It was a bittersweet moment when I heard of her passing...but how wonderful to KNOW she's home with the Lord....and I KNOW one day I'll be there too. What a wonderful day of rejoicing that will be!
God bless you and your family,Debbie. Keeping you all in prayer.
|Beautiful Tribute - - 2009-11-18|
|Mrs. Smith, thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories with us. I was blessed to have met your grandmother on the Alaska cruise. She had great spirit and spunk. What a trooper! God bless your family.
|Queen Mum - 2009-11-18|
|I knew Ms. Kate and became very fond of her and adopted her as my grandmother and she was a true patriarch of the Faith! What an incredible woman to know! I truly enjoyed her one-liners (and I'm sure she's giving some of them to Peter James and John :) and I'll truly miss her! I've never seen someone so alive at her age and have it so together. It's been a joy knowing her and Ms. Ann and the rest! Love and Blessings to the whole family!!|
|Queen Mum( Miss Kate) - 2009-11-18|
|Miss Kate was one of the very very best teachers of the love of God I have met~ She was a Godly example of Christ on this earth- in word and in deed!
May you Dance Miss Kate- May you Dance!|
|by The Casey Family|
|Blessed - 2009-11-18|
|Danc'in with the Angels !!!!!!!!|
|thank you - 2009-11-18|
|Thank you for sharing your memories & reminding me of all the wonderful times shared with my grandparents who left years ago.|
|Blessed - 2009-11-18|
|I was blessed to know Kate. I always felt welcomed by her. If you were at an event "with" her family - - you were welcomed in as "part of" the family. I will never forget her quick wit. She loved to laugh and even when she didn't speak - her eyes gave away that she was, at least, thinking of something witty.
And I will never forget her love for the Lord - it was contagious . Her passing is certainly Heaven's gain.|
|Greatness - 2009-11-18|
|Great breeds greatness. Being faithful to the Lord and being his witness has placed your grandmother amongst the great ones in His eyes and has pleased His heart for certain. What a touching and real tribute to one who shaped who you are. I love you Debbie. I grieve for your loss and rejoice in your grandmothers legacy.|
|by Jackie Eaton Anderson|
|Thanks for Sharing - 2009-11-18|
|Thanks for sharing, Debbie, what you did about your grandmother.|
|Thank you for sharing - 2009-11-18|
|Debbie, I'm so glad you shared that heartfelt story. It's never easy losing someone. In the last 2 years, I've lost my grandfather, and my father-in-law. Reading your story reminded me that they all are in a much better place...and probably dancing away! Thanks again for sharing, hope to see more from you. My prayers are with you and your family always.|
|Long live the Queen Mum! - 2009-11-18|
|Oh, how we'll miss "Grandma Kate"; but what a comforting thought it is that her wheelchair is no longer needed... replaced with dancing shoes, of course! We're sincerely grateful for the long-lasting impression she made on our family. Thanks for opening your heart, Deb.|
|by The Bells|
|remember - 2009-11-18|
|I will always remember Ms Kate with great love and admiration. She surely loved life and gave life to all in her presence. She was a delight to know.|
|by Bev Sheasby|
|Loss of your Grandmother - 2009-11-18|
|I am so sorry for your loss. Your tribute brought tears to my eyes as I was very close with my Grandmother too. She passed away in 1980. She lived with us for many years when I was a child and I still miss her. Your memories are the treasures for your heart and your loss is truly heaven's gain. Thank you for sharing such a sweet woman with all of us and I pray that God will comfort you in the days ahead,as so many things will remind you of your precious Grandmother.|
|by Wanda Butler|
|how beautiful - 2009-11-18|
|"I'm happy." How beautiful. My grandmother always joked she wanted her tombstone to read, "She didn't want to go." I want to finish the race with ~ I'm happy. Thanks for sharing some of what your grandmother meant in your life.|
|Honor - 2009-11-18|
|What a great honor it is for you to remember your Grandmother that way. She sounds so awesome in her love for the Lord and Family. Thank you for writing about it does the Heart good to hear about the gifts God has given us in this life what a gift.|
|Well Done! - 2009-11-18|
I'm sitting here in tears after reading your precious testimony to your beloved Grandmother. I was blessed to meet and see Kate on a few different occasions, and thought she was a wonderful, warm and sweet woman. You indeed were very blessed to have her as your Grandma. Your words & memories you put to paper touched me deeply. Thank you for sharing them with us.|
|Grateful ~~ - 2009-11-18|
|Thank you for sharing your kind words and thoughts they have touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes.. which have not been able to flow as i've been so there for my children at the recent passing of their grandmother... so thank you again ~~~|
|by caroline guichon|
|Sharing.... - 2009-11-18|
|Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story.... I wish everyone had the same strength in families... it's not always so. It was refreshing to hear this from you first hand.... I hope you will share more in time to come....|