Today is the Iris’ birthday. The only problem is, I can’t call her and wish her a happy 91st birthday. Iris passed away 4 months ago.
I met Iris about 25 years ago. I had just started a local group with Concerned Women For America. Iris was very active in local politics, church life, leadership in Eagle Forum and in her spare time she loved her work as a Landman. She traveled across the country doing land work.
Iris taught me everything I needed to know about politics. I traveled to Washington D.C. with her to Eagle Council as well as St. Louis. I met Phylis Schlafly a couple of times along with Clarence Thomas and numerous other conservative leaders. Iris was active in our local Republican Women’s group and encouraged me to do so as well. I attended three Texas State Republican Conventions as a delegate. I learned more about politics than I cared to know. It is all very exciting and at the same time “politics.” Many times someone that was running for political office would come to town and Iris would be the one to take them to all the “important people” to ask for their support and I had the pleasure of driving several of them to their various appointments.
Iris loved her country and she prayed faithfully for God to continue to bless our country in a great and mighty way. She loved her son and grandson with everything that she had. Iris became a single mom when her son was very young. She did an excellent job in raising him. She also cared for her mother until she passed away.
When Iris was young, she was a Rangerette at Kilgore College. I loved to hear her stories about those days. She went on to graduate from Baylor University.
When I first met Iris, she put together a tour to various small towns around our city and had a team of speakers on different subjects. At the time, I was working with Concerned Women for America and our goal was to rid our community of pornography. That’s a whole story in itself, but, Iris convinced me to give a speech on what pornography does to a community as well as families. It took a lot of convincing and a lot of prayer to get up in front of a room full of strangers and speak on that subject. Iris always encouraged me in my speaking and my writing. Every time I talked to her, she would ask me about my book or where I spoke last. She also loved my family. She prayed for each one of them and always said the kindest things about each one. She loved my Jim and even made sure that he would preach her funeral. She was confident he would share the gospel. She knew everything about both of our kids and their lives and prayed for each one regularly. She loved my mom and always asked about her.
Iris introduced me to a lady named Carol over 25 years ago and we have been dear friends since that day. Together we have traveled on a regular basis to visit Iris when she moved to be closer to her son. What a time we had. Iris could walk, but, we could get places so much faster if we pushed Iris in a wheel chair. When we visited, Iris was ready to go shopping, eating out and going to church. We kept the road hot in The Woodlands for the 3-4 days that we visited each time. Iris lost her eye sight the last few years of her life, but you would have never known it. She insisted on going to movies, especially, the movies that our son worked on. She wanted to know every detail. Iris needed hearing aids and rarely wore them, so, what fun Carol and I would have wheeling Iris around to shopping centers, restaurants, movie theaters and church while talking very loud and describing everything we see.
The last couple of years Iris spoke a lot about Heaven. She told me she couldn’t wait to get there and see Jesus face to face. We talked on the phone about that for hours. She wanted to listen to books on tape about Heaven. Right before she passed away, she had a trip planned to go to The Cove, the home of Billy Graham and the Bible Museum in Washington DC. Not much slowed Iris down. Carol and a I would get home from our trips with Iris and have to take a couple of days to rest. I was the driver of our excursions once we got to The Woodlands. Iris would sit in the front seat with me and even though she couldn’t see a thing, she always knew if I made a wrong turn or not. She could tell me where to go and how to get there. She would describe the location and what the place looked like that we were driving to. She also heard everything Carol and I would say when we were trying to figure out our plans for the day. She was a smart little cookie! Nothing got passed Iris!
One last story to share that makes me smile when I think about it. About 4 years ago, I was having lunch with Iris and she asked if I would take her to Roswell. Roswell is a few hours from our city and I told her that sounded good and I would check my calendar and let her know for sure if and when. I talked to Jim, checked my calendar and called her and asked her when she would like to go to Roswell. She said, “Honey, I didn’t say Roswell, I said Toronto, Canada.” Long story short, her son took her to Toronto.
Here is a link to a post I did years ago of a recipe Iris gave me. Click here to read.
Happy Birthday, Iris! I know you are seeing such beauty and hearing the sweet voice of our Savior!