My dad and I met them at the end of the gravel road. She and her daughter were walking down to the little white church. The one where you could crank the lever and water would pour out of the spout. They were walking down the road to gather water. You see, the little house they lived in, didn't have running water- this was in the early 80's, but she didn't let that bother her. This is the first memory I have of her.
My mom sold Avon (and then Tupperware) for a brief second around the time I was in Kindergarten. I remember the time, because I took her ring sizer thingy to school with me (because I thought they looked like a key chain and a million different keys) and got in BIG trouble. Anyway, she was one of my mother's customers. I remember going to her house and it smelling like yummy food. All of her things were put away perfectly. Her things weren't expensive, and most didn't match, but her home felt very comfortable and I loved going with mother to take orders and make deliveries.
We moved away, I grew up, and grandma would always be sure to mention her in conversations when I would ask how things were at home. She was a member of our family, her skin color was the only thing that outed her.
I never really knew Miss Exie to be black. I knew she was incredibly short, but black? I never noticed it. She was a woman whom had my grandparents respect, and with that came the respect of the entire Shelton family.
She raised the children of many of the families around this area, the Help if you can imagine. Not only did she have the respect of my family, she had the respect of each and every family she came into contact with.
Miss Exie was 94 years old, and until the last month, she lived alone in her little home she bought in Slick after her husband passed away. (it did have running water!) She would hear the ambulance come through town and you could set your watch, she would call down to grams house a few minutes later, "Jo, did ya hear that ambulance? Reckon you know who it came for?" It was a joke in our house. We will do it for years to come, but there will be a tint of sadness in the joke from now on.
Miss Exie passed away early this morning. While I know it is exactly what she prayed for, I can't help to be a little bit selfish. My daughter was just getting to know her. Emileigh would dance for her, and Miss Exie absolutely loved her "little dancing girl." How it warms my heart to hear that. I had a date with Miss Exie last week. Onion rings from Sonic, ketchup, and Sprite. I gifted her a 2013 Calendar and asked if she thought she would see that many years in her lifetime when she was younger.
What a wonderful, amazing, perfect woman. She loves Jesus with her life, and she was looking forward to dancing with Him. She and I joked about the reception she would have. It will take her years to catch up with all of those she mourned as they took the journey before she did.
I thank God for Miss Exie. I'm sad because she won't see any more dance performances from my little princess, but so thankful she got to see just once. So thankful, my little, perfect, angel was able to bless the lady who has blessed so many.
Rest in perfect peace, Exie Maxfield. I love you.
2 hours ago