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THROUGH THE DECADES: In Memory of Mrs. Frances Webb
My earliest memories of Mrs. Webb was in the late ’60s when she was my son’s Sunday School teacher. Our family was confirmed in the Lutheran Church of Our Saviour in 196-___. I remember her involvement in the church meetings, her attendance, and the friendships she developed.
We had mutual friends and would sometimes meet up at a gathering hosted by those mutual friends. When Mrs. Webb’s mother, Mrs. Gordon became ill, she was placed in the nursing home where I worked weekends as I attended college, to help defray expenses. I would see her on occasion there, but there was no relationship at the time. Mrs. Webb chose her friends very carefully.
Then in the ’90s, I was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, which happens to be Mrs. Webb’s sorority and her chapter. That made no difference to Mrs. Webb. She did not treat me any differently. It was when Mrs. Webb announced she would be moving from Detroit to Westland, that she opened up to me. My husband and I moved some items she no longer wanted or needed, as my daughter was starting her business, we saw the need.
Mrs. Webb had many friends, in the church who spent time with her. On Sunday’s they would go out to eat after service. She enjoyed eating out. When those friends became ill, and could no longer accommodate her, I slowly stepped in to help. Mind you, Mrs. Webb was in her ‘90’s and still driving. She lived in an inclusive area, surrounded by all her needs. The Krogers, Hallmark, Post Office, and bank. The local mechanic was just across the street and would service her car when needed.
She was always gifting others. Christmas, birthdays, thank you’s. Anyone she felt did her a kindness, she paid them back with her kindness. This went on for years until she could no longer keep up.
Mrs. Webb became like a mother to me. We were surrogates to each other. We lunched together and after giving up her car at 95, I made sure her hair appointments, doctor appointments, bank visits, and card shopping were kept. As time took hold, I would see her each week but she no longer felt the need to east out, her appetite had lessened, so we would just visit. She bemoaned her inability to do for herself. She always asked about my husband, She felt she was taking away from him when I visited with her.
In her last days, she knew she would not be here for her 100th. birthday. She didn’t want to be. She would say, “ I don’t want to be here”. When HE called her home, she went willingly, knowing there was nothing left for her to do. She saw her daughter, granddaughter, and went to sleep, never to wake on this side again. She left her imprint on this earth, but the biggest imprint is the one she left on my heart.
Carolyn R. Kimbrough