Lolita

Rarely do I have the privilege of paying tribute to a woman who lived to 101.  Last night I was driving for Lyft in Commerce City.  I had just dropped off a gutsy, resilient woman who told me her story of recently becoming a citizen and voting for the first time.  We were chatting in her parking lot when I got a phone call. By the caller ID I knew it was Ann, Lolita’s daughter. I said to my passenger, “I need to take this call, it’s about one of my heroes who is 101 and in hospice”.  She said “Thanks for the ride, I will pray for her”.   I listened to Ann tell me that Lolita was near the end.  This woman had lived fully for over 101 years.  She had been to a concert with family a few days ago and had a massive stroke. 

Lolita was one year old when WW1 ended November 11, 1918. Her life was truly a gift to the world from beginning to end. Here are a few highlights: she was a nurse on a hospital ship in WW2 (she knew the consequences of combat).  She was a mom of four.  She was the first female Elder at Central Christian Church in Pueblo in 1985.  To me she was that warm, caring, wise person who helped love me back into ministry when I was broken and lost in 1981.  I had watched my marriage crumble and my brother Don killed in 1979.  She always knew just what to say and when to say it.

A few years ago when I was serving at South Broadway Christian Church in Denver, I got to walk with Lolita as her pastor a second time as she relocated to  the Denver area.  I had many opportunities to sit and process “life, faith, family and fun” with this marvelous woman.  Today I was driving from Greeley to the hospital where Lolita was letting go.  I did not make it, she died.   Instead I turned my app on and within 10 minutes I was giving a ride to a Desert Storm Vet all the way to Highlands Ranch (48) miles.  I told him about Lolita and her service in the military—a Veteran.  He said, “I spent some time in the hospital with shrapnel wounds… God bless her”.  This Veterans Day I will be thinking of Lolita.

Onward and Upward,

Mark

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