Dear Greta Sue,
You are heavy on my mind this morning, since today is your birthday. I wish I could talk to you to make sure you know how much I loved and admired you.
I am remembering the first time I met you.
You were living with your family on the Wetzel farm in Michigan. Because your Uncle Johnny had been killed in the Viet Nam war, your daddy Buckshot took over the farm in his place, to help Gramma and Grampa Wetzel. It was hard for your southern mama Sue; she made the best of it, and that is where your sister, your brother Duken and you started life and your mama gave you her name.
I was in college when your Uncle Jake asked me to go with him to the family farm one fall weekend. We went in a big camp truck so he could bring crates of Michigan apples back to sell.
I was enamored that weekend, not only with your Uncle Jake, but with the whole deal: the white farmhouse, the big red barn, the open rolling land, the orchards and groves, the ponds and forests, the piglets who escaped down the road, and Jake’s family.
Especially you, Greta Sue. I was enamored with you.
With your curly braids and little overalls, you were the cutest little farmgirl, just learning to talk.
I remember you were playing on the front porch when you accidentally fell off the side into a flower trellis. I was expecting to hear you cry in pain and fear, when I heard your little voice say, “Hey! Somebody get me outta here!”
I loved your spirit. God made you spunky, Greta Sue. He knew you would need courage and determination.
When you were a young adult, I remember you saying sadly, “I don’t know why God made me brain-damaged.”
You never drove a car, but your golfcart was awesome. (Remember when your little cousin crashed it?) You couldn’t read a book, but you could read people. You were a consistent encourager and a great tease. You really knew how to make people laugh!
And you had a huge heart. You loved people and Jesus, and we saw you trust in God through these challenging years of dialysis treatments, many surgeries, and the deep emotional pain of losing your daddy and your brother in nine months.
Now your family has lost you. I can hear your voice in my head, respond, “Now Aunt Sarah, I didn’t mean to die. I didn’t mean to hurt nobody.” We know, we know, it’s not your fault, Greta Sue. Please don’t worry. But I can’t help but wonder . . . I wonder if your spirit may have called to the angels, “Hey, Somebody get me outta here!”
Cuz you are outta here, girl. You are done with all that suffering. You are with Jesus and we are happy about that.
There is no one like you, Greta Sue. Those of us who loved you, we thought you were great. We thank God for you, and I, for one, hope God will give me a bit of your joyful spunk.
Love, Aunt Sarah
Greta Sue Wetzel, August 7, 1971 – July 21, 2022
It was so special to celebrate her 50th, her last earthly birthday, last year in Montreat.