Today 150-200 people gathered to celebrate the life of Ginny May Flint. Ginny “changed addresses” on March 1 at 6:10 pm. It was one of the most amazing celebrations I’ve ever attended. And that speaks volumes for the kind of woman Ginny was. Her daughter, Shannon, told us she orchestrated the whole celebration. “Have bright colors and feed the people who come. If they took the time to come, feed them well.”
Ginny was a part of the Angel Group I joined about three years, so I haven’t known her long. But what a blessing she has been for me and for so many others. There were people in attendance whose lives she touched fifty-some years ago. A fifth-grade classmate shared that when he moved to Dayton, he didn’t know a sole. Ginny sat next him in homeroom. She said, “I’m Ginny. Who are you?” They became best of friends, and they and their spouses have enjoyed many fun times together.
There was a lot of laughter and tears shed during the celebration. Ginny knew how to have fun and touch people’s lives. She will be greatly missed.
Another of her classmates said when they were teenagers, she approached him one day and said, “I have a friend I’d like you to meet. Would you be interested?” She handed him a phone number and a couple of days later he phoned. Then he introduced us to his wife of almost fifty-six years.
The most amazing stories I heard, however, came from her daughter, Shannon and Shannon’s birth mother, Jan. Shannon was adopted and eventually wanted to meet her birth mother. After she received the information that her birth mother was willing to meet her, Shannon double checked with her parents to make sure they were okay with her making the call.
Ginny’s attitude was that love is not in a limited supply. The more you give the more it expands. So she was quite happy for Shannon to make contact with her birth mother. When Shannon revealed that Jan lived very close to them, Ginny realized that she knew Jan slightly, and was sure that Shannon had even seen her walking her dog nearby. Ginny said, “She’s really neat. Call her right now.”
So Shannon made contact and arrangements were made for all of them to get together the next weekend. Shannon told Jan, “Don’t be surprised if Mom comes knocking on your door before then.”
And that is exactly what Ginny did. She wanted to assure Jan that she and her husband were excited about this and that Jan and her family were now a part of the Flint family. And it was Jean who was with Ginny when she took her last breath.
At the end of the celebration, Jan’s two sisters, brother, and sister-in-law introduced themselves to us and we had a lovely chat hearing more of their story and how they were all embraced by the Flint family.
Toward the end of February, the Angel Group was informed that Hospice was estimating that Ginny had one to two weeks to live. Of course, some of us wanted to visit. Her husband sent the message that Ginny would welcome our visit. She said, “The more the merrier.”
I was stunned to see her sitting in a recliner greeting us wearing that wonderful warm smile that lit up her face with delight. She stretched out her arms for hugs and kisses saying, “Everything’s fine … when you have no regrets, everything’s fine.” She told funny stories about herself and laughed heartily. She shrugged off her need to continue wearing a colostomy bag and matter-of-factly named an advantage to it. It was hard to believe that she would be gone in a little over two weeks.
She is certainly an example to all of us about how to live. Love largely and widely because love expands. How fortunate I am to have been the recipient of her generous spirit and warm embraces. As I challenge myself to live in the spirit of expanding love, I carry her spirit with me as she lives on in the hearts and memories of so many.