My sister, Mimi, died Thursday, March 30, 2017, from an incurable lung disease. Last fall she told us she was dying, and I enjoyed phoning, emailing, and facebooking with her right up into March.

Direct talk

With Death looking in the windows during all our emailing and phoning, life after Death seemed a good topic. So a couple of times she told me her Purgatory story. It shows the direct, simple talk she learned during decades of mothering and teaching the little ones she loves.

First a few words about Mimi’s approach to life.

Enjoy each day

mimi-125x150Mimi makes a point of enjoying each day. She reminds me of our mother. Back when the phrase “Have a nice day!” was coming in, Mom upgraded it to “Make a nice day!” Mom’s upgrade expresses Mimi’s view of life pretty well, too.


Mimi is too outgoing to rest peacefully — even on the streets of gold. This I know from how she enjoyed her neighbors on her street of blacktop.

“We have a loving bunch on our street!”

Click a picture to start the slide show of Mimi’s neighbors.

Mimi loved her neighbor children

Keriann - Luis - Mimi - Anthony

Keriann – Luis – Mimi – Anthony

“These three kids came every morning one summer. They were to make their bed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, and be at my door by 10 o’clock. They did a great job. Learned to be punctual. We did world geography on a big map, using stories from the morning news. They are good kids. I think we made some good memories. I loved every day of it!”


mimiArriving home Friday evening I thought of Mimi’s Purgatory story. She was telling a neighbor child about her husband, Spurgeon.

“Spurgeon’s in Heaven now.”

The child corrected her.

“You mean he’s in Purgatory, Mimi.”

As I was fitting my key into the lock I recalled Mimi’s reply:

“Oh, Honey! Baptists don’t go to Purgatory. Jesus let’s us straight in.”

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