Monday, May 21, 2012

Memories flooding my mind...

Yesterday, May 20, my first pastor's wife, Pauline Valimont, passed away. I can't begin to record all of the memories that have been flooding my mind as I think back over my childhood and the influence she had on me. My parents worked alongside Ray and Pauline to build the Assemblies of God church in Mansfield, PA. So I have been told that I was on the church bench nearly the day I was born! My mom and dad had lots of responsibilities in the new church plant so they couldn't miss a Sunday!

I had a great childhood and my church was the best! I loved the pastor's family so very much and spent a lot of time with the Valimont kids. I wore argyle knee socks because Margie did. I played the organ because Patti did, I had a big smile and welcoming demeanor because Connie did, I named my daughter Renee because Pauline did, I thought Jerry was the most handsome guy in town.  Connie and I were closest in age and I remember spending many days and hours at their home, riding horses, watching Cinderella, eating, having loads of fun. Pauline was a great mom, a great wife, such a classy lady.

As I think back over my choices that I made as a kid, I can't help but think that this family had great influence over my life. I knew that I wanted to go to Bible College and be in the ministry full time when I was nine years old. They were my pastors till I was around 16.

Pauline was 85 when she passed yesterday and such a beautiful lady. In 2009 Renee and I had to leave Jamaica because of visa issues so we went to Mansfield for a month. While there Mom and I went to see Pauline and we found ourselves gathered around the piano with Patti and Connie singing our hearts out. A great day. One that will live in my memory.

She was widowed for 16 years and still attended the church she and her honey founded. I am so proud to be a "product" of Highway Tabernacle, now named New Covenant. I am so proud that the Valimonts were my pastors. I am sad. I can imagine the reunion yesterday was pretty awesome.

This is a photo that my friend sent me. Pauline on the left, Jane Hart in the middle and Donna on the right. Jane was my second mom growing up and Donna, my still childhood friend!

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