Earlier today, during a telephone call, I learned of the passing of my Pastors’ wife, Paulette Caywood. Don & Paulette Caywood are the pastors of the Odessa Christian Faith Center in Odessa, Texas.
For those of you that read me regularly know that I found this Church almost two years ago after moving to West Texas. So many incredible blessings have come my way while attending this church.
I wanted to take a moment in tribute to a truly elegant, faith-filled woman who deeply touched my heart. Let me share this brief story of why Paulette Caywood will be beloved and missed.
Early on, when I first began going to the Odessa Christian Faith Center, I was a bit shy about interacting with anyone in the Church. In an announcement during the Church service, I hear that the Church Barbeque is coming up. So, I decided to attend by myself.
It’s worthy to note that I had only met Paulette a couple of times.
Upon arriving at the barbeque event, I found myself aimlessly walking around, being kind when people said hello. For me, this was a time of great pain in my life. Not having completed a divorce that I at the time honestly did not want, to say I was a mess would be an understatement.
Finding myself at the event, I was sitting off alone at a table. Having an iced tea and wondering what the heck I was doing there.
At that moment I hear “Bob, that’s your name. I did get it right, Bob?” and standing behind me was Pastor Paulette with a great smile; she asked me to stand and gave me a huge hug. At that moment, she asked, “Bob, would you like to please join us for dinner?” Which I reluctantly accepted, given my state-of-mind.
It was the warmth and kindness in Paulette’s voice that drew me. Not to mention that we had only in passing met a couple of times very casual. Yet she remembered me by name. Of the thousands of people that are a part of the OCFC family, she remembered me. I couldn’t believe that she remembered my name. That has stuck with me to this day!
As we walked across the room, she was asking me about how I liked West Texas and made polite conversation. Arriving at her table, she introduced me to Pastor Don, her husband, some other members of the church. Everyone was truly nice. Paulette made sure that I was able to sit next to Pastor Don for dinner.
On many occasions during dinner, she would ask me to talk about myself. She made sure that the table got to know me.
Why was this seemingly innocuous gesture so important? As you read, I was in a truly terrible place in my life. As I was sitting at the table drinking my tea alone, I was also contemplating just being done with my life. Nothing seemed to be going my way, I had just lost a woman with whom I had hoped for a lifelong relationship. Nothing, and I mean nothing gave me at the time any hope. I had given in, ready to tap-out of this world.
Until I heard this sweet woman say, “Bob, right your Bob?” What Pastor Don and Paulette have given me is my life. That one simple act of kindness gave me hope. Able to see that people do care. I was greeted with such warmth that evening that I was able to hold on longer.
None of us know in a moment what our presence is doing for another human. Paulette Caywood never knew how her simple act saved me from me. The despair in my life at that moment was what I believed too much to bear.
God was working through Paulette Caywood one evening at a simple dinner. I am grateful that Paulette Caywood touched my life. She always had a smile and hearty hello for me anytime I saw her. I tried to always make it a point that she did see me even from afar at church. Sunday was complete with Pastor Paulette’s smile.
Over time, I can say my life is anew. As I write this, I hope that Ms. Paulette is over my shoulder reading how unbeknownst to her just asking me to sit down to dinner changed the outcome of a broken life.
Dear Lady, thank you for being a part of my life. As a woman of God, all of us are brighter, stronger, faith-driven, because you touched our lives. You were an angel on this earth, I trust God has an extraordinary place just for you!