Jubilee honors daughter

Published 10:41 pm Saturday, January 16, 2010

Horace and Martha Waugh have been through the fire.

They struggled as a young married couple on a shoestring budget through college. In December 1970, son John was born and in December 1974, they had a beautiful girl named Julie.

A fine healthy-looking baby, Julie began to have chronic congestive or upper respiratory infections. At 16 months, Julie was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.

For the next few years she was cared for by her parents who had been taught all the proper procedures to do so. From November 1979 to late March 1980, Julie was at Children’s Hospital near death. She came home in March only to go back within weeks.

On July 23, 1980, Julie went to be an angel.

Martha felt lost, could not “feel God’ and did not know what to do with her life. After two years, she spotted an ad for last minute registration at the University of Montevallo and out the door she went.

The sociology department doors were locked so she went over to Dean Fancher’s office.

She was adamant about getting out of the education field. But sometimes God has other plans and he had great plans for Martha.

She retired in 2005 after 25 years of bringing joy, love and knowledge to hundreds of kids in the Thompson Elementary and Creekview schools. She still teaches, mentors, subs, tutors and works with Kids First.

For more than two years, Martha has been asking God to show her a ministry to dedicate in memory of Julie. Right before Halloween she bought boxes of small pumpkins, scooped them out and filled them with flowers to deliver to hospice, shut-ins, nursing homes and hospitals. Thus began “Jubilee.”

Martha needs baskets of any shape or size, vases, mugs –– any containers really. She can take old buckets and turn them into something nice. She is an artist in many areas and loves antiques and junk. She would like people to donate or to become involved and help. The look of delight on the patients’ faces is worth every minute.

“I’m getting more that they are, but this is for God’s glory in memory of Julie,” she said.

Want to help? She is desperately contacting floral departments at local grocery stores and local florist for donations of their “throw aways.”

Also, if you have wedding, funeral, yard or any flowers you can donate, that would be great.

It is unbelievable that several stores had told her it was “company policy” to throw away these flowers. Why?

Ask around. Promote the idea of surprise and fresh flowers being given to someone who seldom has that pleasure.

You can reach Martha at outreach4julie@gmail.com.

Community columnist Sandra Thames can be reached by e–mail at bobthames1942@yahoo.com.