Dancing with daffodils


This won’t mean anything to anyone but the thousands of people whose lives were touched  by Miss Malinda Montgomery.  She was the sweetest, most gentle  soul I ever encountered in all my life. She was like a feather, you didn’t even know she was touching you, but she was.

Miss Malinda died today and the entire city of West Point, Mississippi, grieves her loss.  She was in her mid-eighties, but to me, she looked just the way she did in 1954, when she tried to do something with the rowdies who were in her Sunday School class  at the First Presbyterian Church.

Miss Malinda operated a flower shop in the Point,  and she always smelled like roses. I never saw her without a smile on her face and never heard her without an encouraging word for the likes of me, an awkward adolescent with zero self esteem and a nose full of freckles.

She  told me I was beautiful, and I believed her in spite of what I saw in the mirror.

“She was a rock,” said Ruthie Weathers, who bought her flower shop when Miss Malinda retired.  “She would always help me carry on the tradition.”

“We would wander through the cemetery whenever people would call us from far away to put flowers on the graves of their loved ones.  She was determined to find the grave.”

I last saw Miss Malinda in June and marveled at how she had not aged.  I remember asking if I could come drink some of her water – surely that must be the secret.

Probably not. She had found a place of peace and love that many of us will never reach. Today she is dancing in heaven and I hope I will see her again.

11 thoughts on “Dancing with daffodils

  1. Jane, Do you have any idea about services – I went on Daily Times website but it hasn’t been updated today. I need to change some plans if it is tomorrow.


  2. (I couldn’t say Malinda or Lindy as a kid, so it stuck as Nindy). “Well, I de-clare,” I can hear her say when I trotted to her doorsteps. If I approached the door near the kitchen, she’d often beat me to the door, jiggle it open, and call to me through the screen door, “Come here, you sweet thing.” And a hug was exchanged upon entering. She’d invite me to sit down “and visit.” And she was delighted to talk about anything, anytime. And Ms. Ruthie, you’re right about her always having a smile on her face. “Isn’t that something?” was her charactaristic response of interest. You knew she was just always excited to see you. She was a lady of God, a gracious spirit, and an earth angel to me and many others. So many memories I have of growing up in her spiritual guidance and encouragement. …Sitting in the kitchen while Bob or Bertha was cooking, and she’d quiz me on the catechism. I can hear her voice, “Who made you? And what else did God make? And why did he make you and all things?”… Why did God make “Nindy”? “For His own glory.” But my oh my aren’t those of us who knew her so blessed! I love you, Nindy!!!!!!!

  3. Lindy always had a smile on her face and love in her heart. She was always a very dear friend to our family. She is having a wonderful reunion with all of her dear friends in heaven.

  4. I wish you could have attended her funeral today – very uplifting – especially Susie Marshall’s piano music – wasn’t the traditional dirge – but boisterous and wonderfully “full bodied” – made me want to stand up and shout “Amen!” Johanna Goree wrote a wonderful poem which the minister read – she’s going to send it so I can post. Happy New Year!

  5. Hi Emily
    It was good to see you today. My computer has been on the fritz for a couple of days so just now saw your story about Malinda. There is not just a hole in West Point since her passing, there is a hole in the world. I’ve never known a world without her firmly in it. When I was a little girl,my mother was in the state sanitorium with tuberculosis and Daddy was a Baptist. I wanted to go to our church so Malinda picked me up every other Sunday (Mrs. Nell Millard got me on the other ones). Malinda was my Sunday School teacher when we were in the old church by the funeral home. I had for many years a pop up book she gave me about Pocahontas. I’d give anything to know where that book is today. When Mother would come home for a visit, Malinda would bring over a brick of ice cream….and you need to know that not everyone would come to our home because of the TB bug. Wherever I was in this world after I left West Point, she kept in touch with me and her house was the first place I ran to when I came home. She would dig out my letters and tell me how much they meant to her. Didn’t she just have that talent of making you feel so important, so loved? Always looking for something to be happy about….once she scared me when she said, “You know what makes me mad?” I couldn’t imagine what it could be…..then she said, “When I don’t see you!”
    And thank you for commenting on Susie Marshall’s music…..when I told her how wonderful it was she said that her heart was really in it. We could all feel that. Thank you again, Emily, for sharing your remembrances of Malinda. Bless her heart, the heart of all our hearts.

  6. Oh Miss Nell… You just reminded me of another Saint tho’ I didn’t realize it at the time. That poor lady was determined to turn me into a pianist.She failed, but it was my failure, not hers.
    Thanks for your comments. I suspect Miss Malinda will become a guardian angel to all of us lucky enough to have been in her life.

  7. Miss Nell taught me piano, also. Did she make you put something over your eyes so you could play it right in case the lights went out? I loved playing those duets with her. Mostly because she was concentrating on her part and not hearing all my mistakes!
    Someone told me your name is changing. Is that true? What’s up with that?
    The person who told me has started reading your blog…..she lives in Lexington, KY and was my good friend from MSCW. We recently reconnected after being lost from each other for years. Anyway, I told her to look up your blog and she loves it. Reads it all the time now.
    Stay warm. Love, Annie

  8. Annie – you’re the second person who has written me about changing my name? I’m puzzled, did I mention it somewhere? I have no recollection, but that’s not unusual.
    No, I can’t remember Miss Nell making me cover my eyes, but that’s rich. Thanks for passing along the blog site…it’s all about the numbers. One of these days I may make some REAL money at this hobby. Up to now it covers my coffee fund!

  9. You made some first rate factors there. I looked on the internet for the difficulty and found most people will go along with with your website.

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