This weekend was one of the most heartbreaking times I have lived through. From hearing the news from my son Friday night through the services on Sunday I, like so many, had to try and process the reality that the world would be much dimmer because Sharron Fuller had gone to be with Jesus, the result of a tragic automobile accident.
I knew Sharron impacted so many people in her 47 years. But the impact of her outreach really hit me as I sat through her service at Trinity Methodist yesterday. I listened to how she hugged, loved and served the youth at her church. People told stories of her commitment to her church’s Mexico mission trip, from fundraising to paying for others to go and going herself many times. And I could go on and on about what other people said, but I wanted to share a few memories and the lessons I have learned from a life well lived.
My father and Sharron knew each other for many years, as they were in related lines of work. Daddy is a master at building furniture, and Sharron knew this about him. So last year when she wanted to build a headboard for her son Houston as he was moving out to attend Auburn she asked daddy if he would teach her how to use the saws, how to put it together, sand it and stain it – the whole nine yards. And he did. Sharron lost her father when she was only 35, and she often talked about the gaping hole it left in her heart. She always hugged my daddy and called him “Pops” even though I had repeatedly told her it was “only 1 Pop,” (and I think daddy secretly liked her nickname for him). I would like to think Sharron gave daddy what I couldn’t – an engineering mind who wanted to learn how to build things. And in return, I think he gave her “daddy time,” since she had been without hers for so long. They created a new bond over beautiful headboard for Houston, a tangible piece of her heart that he can keep forever. Daddy and Sharron had plans to build more furniture together because she was determined to learn and do it on her own one day. Here are the pictures I took that day and the words she wrote on Facebook:
❤️❤️What a great day!! My daddy would have been so proud of the headboard I (and Pops) made for Houston!! Thank you Pops ( @trip3 – Don Triplett)!!! I am so thankful you gave me a woodworking lesson! I had the best day!!😁❤️❤️— with Donald Lee Triplett, Leigh Triplett Thompson and Sue Robinson.
This spring was very difficult for me, as our family was moving from our home in Auburn of 17 years to Saint Simons, GA. On the day of our garage sale (which was more like a warehouse sale) she took time to come over towards the end and check on us, to see how we were doing and to simply tell us we would be missed. She had an innate sense driving her to know who needed a friend and when. I sure could use her big smile always painted in her signature red lipstick today, checking on me as I grieve the loss of a close friend. She would hug me, love on me and probably bake me one of her awesomely delicious strawberry cakes (which were absolutely the best in the world).
My son didn’t like to spend the night out when he was younger, but he would spend the night with Mrs. Sharron. She took him to the beach, we drove to pee wee football games together and watched 6 years of state championship golf tournaments with each other. When I needed someone to put together a slide show for the golf banquet I knew who to ask, because Sharron was never without her camera. And she gleefully said she would handle it, as she did whenever I asked her to help with anything. She chaperoned every school dance our boys ever attended from the 6thgrade sock hop to the senior prom, and loved every minute of it.
The last time I saw Sharron was just a few weeks ago when I came back to Auburn to see my parents. She was eating dinner with her husband John, their daughter Kathryn and Kathryn’s roommate. We promised to grab lunch the next time I was in town. I had no idea the next time I would be in Auburn I would be attending her funeral…
I knew how much she loved her family. I knew of all these missions and groups she was involved with, and I knew how contagious her smile and laughter was. But Friday came like a thief in the night, stealing a precious wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend out of our lives.
As Reverend Earl Ballard said at her service Sunday (and I’m paraphrasing), the question isn’t “Why?” because we will most likely never understand why she was taken home to heaven Friday night. The question is do you know where your eternity lies? Sharron did. She knew Jesus. She loved Jesus. And her life is a glowing example of how a person lives when they embody the words of Jesus found in Matthew 28:19-20 ~ “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
I, like so many, will greatly miss you Sharron. We will endeavor to carry on with big hugs, contagious smiles and for some of us some bright red lipstick. We will be better spouses, parents, friends because of the example you set. We will continue to fulfill the great commission, as you would do if you were still here. And some glad morning, when this life is over, we will fly away and meet you at the gates of heaven.
“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.” 1 Peter 5:2-4