Part of My Heart
Before She was Mama

Dancing with Jesus


I am stunned and in shock this morning, as our small community is reeling, shaken to the core by the sudden death of one of our dearest.

As we struggle to make sense of it all, our sweet Burma is dancing with Jesus.

I got the tearful phone call early last evening, and my fears were confirmed a few hours later.  It's the worst part of my job ministry as office administrator, being the bearer of sad news to our church family. We are truly a FAMILY, bound together by faith, and Burma and Dick are an integral part of it.

Details are still sketchy and really don't matter much at this point.  A head-on collision...Burma did not suffer, probably never knew what hit her...Dick surviving but with multiple injuries and a long road of recovery ahead. 

So many Dick-and-Burma memories over the years...we've eaten at their home and they've been guests at ours. When they were younger and able, Burma and Dick loved to dance (they even have a ballroom floor in their house!) and she and I did some clogging together when we were new friends. Dick and Kim have spent countless hours gardening together at church. Burma helped design and Dick built many pieces of rustic furniture for our cabin. When Dad died, Dick handcrafted a flag case for Mama, and he and Burma delivered it to Mama one special afternoon. Beautiful people with hearts of gold! Burma was a dedicated reader of "Not-Quite-Country Girl" and enjoyed keeping up with my shenanigans and adventures.

I love them.  We all do.

Just Sunday evening, I sat across the table from this sweet couple at our small group study and Burma shared her wisdom about God's grace.  I will never forget that...what a wonderful and fitting last memory of her. Her Bible was dog-eared and well-read, Burma always eager to glean more from God's Holy Word.  She loved everyone she met, and everyone loved her...she was just one of those classy ladies that you couldn't help but adore. Her prayer list was a mile long and she prayed faithfully, daily and passionately, for every single one. Burma prayed and loved me through my cancer ordeal and always had a hug and a smile and a compliment for me, despite living with constant and agonizing back pain that she's struggled with the 25+ years I've known her.

No more suffering, no more smiling through excruciating pain...her back is now strong and healthy, her feet are light and nimble again, and her smile is adding its brilliance to Heaven's.

Those of us left behind are grieving mightily today.  But our sweet, precious Burma is...

...dancing with Jesus.




Donna Cronk

What a beautiful tribute...

Martha Thatcher

What a beautiful dedication to Burma. She touched so many lives, including mine. She was such an inspiration. I am truly blessed to have got to know her

Denny Adams

Terry, thanks for so graciously saying what we all wanted to say about our sweet Burma but just didn't know how. She was such a wonderful lady with a heart as big as all of outdoors. Even on the days of her most severe pain, her beautiful smile was always present and that encouraging "how are you?' was always asked. While our eyes are tearful and our hearts ache for our loss, Heaven's gain is enough to make us smile. I can just see Burma and Maridene having a big catch up gab session! Seriously, Burma enjoy your new home for all eternity. Ask God to send some special healing power into Brother Dick's body that he will be able to heal both physically and mentally. May we also support him with our love and prayers.

Amanda Norris

You have such a gift, Terry. What a beautiful tribute to an incredible woman of faith! Thank you for sharing your gift, thought, and memories with all of us. You have provided such a beautiful image of a pain free Burma dancing and praising in pure joy today! Love you all!

Teresa Amonett

Oh my gosh Terry!! This is so beautiful and means the world to me and my family!! She was a very special person. Her faith was so strong. I draw comfort in the fact that she is no longer in constant pain, and also in all of the our pouring of love from everyone. I know she was ready and I am sure she is dancing with Jesus! Thank you so much. Teresa

Barb Fowler

I am Brooke Slone's grandma, Barb. Burma has been the Guiding Light in Brooke's life for several years, and I will be eternally grateful for the love and support she had for Brooke. As of this morning Brooke did not yet know about Burma. Along with the outpouring of love and Prayers for the Thornell family, please keep Brooke in your thoughts, as well. She will be heartbroken and inconsolable. Our sincere condolences to the church and the Thornell family

Terri Chapman

This is an absolutely beautiful dedication to our dear sweet Burma. Heaven gained a special Angel last night that we all had the privilege of knowing and loving . What a woman of God she was . And like you said , as our hearts are heavy .... her wings have been added and she is home free! Fly high my sweet Burma and keep smiling down on us. We Love you 💗

Teresa Hornaday

Terry, your post described Burma perfectly. She was such a positive person despite her constant pain. We will miss her in our church family and especially small group. I loved her hugs and smiles too.
Hugs and love to all, Teresa

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