225.

When I think of May, I think of rose perfume and worn-in leather chairs. I think of glass cases full of animal figurines, turquoise formica, and floral pillows.

When I think of May, I think of the wisteria vines hanging outside the window, heavy with lavender-hued flowers.

When I think of May, I think of patience, kindness, and spunk. I think of the most overpowering embraces — bigger and stronger hugs than you’d ever expect from such a tiny woman.

She was like something out of a book, you know? That little old lady next door. She was magic. 

Eventually, we moved away from that little blue house with the wisteria vines. But May still wrote and called. When my parents got divorced, May was there to check in. When Seth was in his accident, she was there. She was someone who was always present — a never-ending source of strength and comfort.

May out-lived 2 husbands. But she wasn’t scared. She was as vivacious as ever. She still volunteered, called and checked in on people, went on cruises and trips, attended church and prayed for everyone she knew. She still wore her brightly colored Nikes and walked everywhere — even at the age of 99.

She’s the kind of person who I would hope to emanate just a fraction of.

A few weeks ago, May passed away. Just a couple weeks before that, she had written my mom a letter out of the blue. She said, “I never thought I’d live this long, but I hope the Lord will let me celebrate my 100th birthday.”

She didn’t quite make it, but I think she’s okay with that.

I don’t know very much about what heaven will be like, but I do know that good, true, kind people like May are bound to be there.

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