Clyde's Aunt Hazel was one of the most genuine women I have ever had the blessing to have in my life. She never put on airs or pretended to be someone she wasn't. She was open, honest, kind and loving. She was nice. Pleasant. One of those people who was a joy to be around. She had those little nuances that were so endearing. The way she covered her mouth with her hand when she laughed. The exclamation of "ooooohhhhh", when she was excited. We never left her without hearing her say "ya'll come back again soon, will you?" and "I love you all", accompanied a hug around the neck and a kiss on the cheek. When she called she always started the conversations with, "Lisa, this is me, Hazel". I loved those little things about her.
Recently during a visit to the hospital, Larry told us about a book he read that talked about Matthew 10:7 the kingdom of heaven being near. The book discussed the possibility that being near, meant, within us. Christians having the kingdom of heaven within them. Some of these people didn't necessarily preach the gospel or speak out to large crowds about their conviction. They didn't write books or go on TV to spread the word, but lived their lives as if the kingdom of heaven was within them. The book referred to some of these Christians as secret agents. Larry said he thought that described his mother perfectly. In the eyes of those of us who were honored to know her, we knew that she loved the lord with all of her heart, soul and mind. Larry was right, Hazel was an earthly "agent" of Christ and definitely had the kingdom of heaven within her, it was no secret. She truly cared about whether or not she had done the right thing in all aspects of her life. Hazel was a Christian and that stayed in the forefront of her mind always. She wanted to be sure that she was forgiven for anything she had said or done that might have been offensive and wanted to be sure that others enjoyed the same peace of mind by telling them she forgave them for any thing they may have done that she felt had hurt her. She was never too proud to admit that she may have been wrong. She wanted nothing left undone or unsaid when her time came to leave this world. So if any of you who knew her, wish that you had said, I'm sorry I hurt you or I love you,... don't worry; she had already forgiven you and she loved you too, because that was who she was.
I know that she loved my husband, our children, and our grandchildren. She told us she was proud of us and for us. She not only told us, she showed us with her unconditional love. Hazel not only practiced Corinthians 13:4-7, she was Corinthians 13:4-7. "Love is patient and kind." Hazel was patient and kind. "Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude." Hazel was not jealous or boastful or proud or rude." "Love does not demand its own way." Hazel did not demand her own way. "Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged." Hazel was not irritable and kept no record of when she had been wronged. "Love is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out." Hazel was never glad about injustice but rejoiced whenever the truth won out. "Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." Hazel never gave up, never, ever lost her faith, and was always hopeful, and most definitely endured through every circumstance."
Right before they took Hazel into surgery Clyde and I were fortunate enough to be able to tell her how much we loved her. As Larry and Sally said their final I love you's she said, well I love everybody, and she did, love everybody. She loved her family with all of her heart and was not afraid to tell anyone that she came in contact with how she felt. She was so proud of Larry and Sally. She was thankful everyday for all they had done for her. I can't count the times she said to me, I don't know what I would do without Larry and Sally. She always worried about whether she was asking to much of them, because she knew they were busy. She was proud of Sabrina and Shawn, but thought they worked too hard. She was especially proud of "her boys" Sam and Jax. She talked of them often, telling me "oooooohh they are getting so big" and how sweet they were to her when they came to visit and watch TV with her. She loved Sally's children, and grandchildren and it's obvious that they loved her too. Eli made a hospital glove into a balloon with a special message especially from him and gave it to her last week. It was precious. It would have thrilled her to show everybody what he had done for her.
She knew that our Riley liked to pretend with makeup so she saved old compacts for her, checking to make sure the mirror was still clear so she could see herself. Most recently our little Ethan stole her heart by allowing her to snuggle him close everytime she saw him. She told Paige and I, if he ever went missing we better check her house because she was going to figure out a way to keep him. When she called she would always ask, how's "my" baby! As ill as she was, she never failed to ask about my ailing father. Telling me if there was anything she could do, she would. She loved people enough to remember that they suffered sometimes too. She cared about what they cared about.
Clyde says that he will never forget how much Andy and Hazel helped him when he moved to Bowling Green, he lived with them for a while, and Clyde always remembers Hazel's patience with him.... and Andy. ;) One of Hazel's favorite stories to tell, was when Clyde came home (to their house) from working second shift one night, Hazel had gone to bed and Andy was awake and he and Clyde decided to make a chocolate milkshake. The problem was neither of them was very good in the kitchen, so when they turned on the blender without remembering to put the top on it,.............well you can imagine what Hazel's kitchen looked like. He remembers her laughing and chuckling as she cleaned up the mess. I'm sure she was brewing up a little prank for them in her laughter. She loved to pull jokes on people and when they fell for it she would just laugh, and put her hand over her mouth.
Hazel truly loved her friends, her long time neighbors, and her church family. The last time I visited her home she had just finished a piece of "punkin" pie that her good friend Linda had made for her. She said "she knows I love punkin pie and its sooo good!" Even her home health providers were accepted into the heart of Hazel. No matter how bad she felt, she took time to get to know them. She asked where they were from, what their interests were, if they had children, grandchildren etc. She bragged on how helpful they were to her and what a good job they did and how grateful she was that Larry "fixed" that up for her.
Because I'm weird like that, I googled the name Hazel. I found that it is sometimes considered the feminine variant of the Hebrew name Hazael, meaning "whom God sees." There is no doubt in my mind that her name was perfect for her. Not only did we see God in her, God definitely saw Hazel.
Shortly after learning of her death, Larry sent us this simple text- "love never dies". Corinthians 13 popped into my head. I know how glad she is to be home. I will miss her terribly, but her love will stay with me.
Hazel Irene Smith Sensing- born May 4, 1920. Died February 4, 2013. Daughter of Celia and Ed Smith, beloved wife of the late Andy Sensing. Devoted, loving mother of Larry and mother-in-law to Sally. Proud grandmother of Sabrina and Great Grandmother of Sam and Jax. Affectionatly called Aunt Hazie by my children and grand-children.
Rest in peace Hazel