Sunday, January 22, 2017


I have a college degree in communications but I am a poor communicator.  Day to day life overtakes me and there is always an excuse not to write, call, text, or reply.  This is true regardless of which side of the world I am living.  New experiences have piled in my mind to tell you - our first Christmas season in Kenya,  a special visit to a village church, our first Kenyan birthday party, and more.

But today all I can write about is Mimi.

Will's grandmother, Charlotte Copeland, passed away on Thursday morning.  The news that Mimi had died came suddenly and unexpectedly.  We love her so much.  The distance between Kenya and Arkansas is always far but feels even greater as we try to grieve from miles away.

One of the last things she asked of me this summer before we moved was for a hand-written letter with news about the kids.  I never sent one.

These are my thoughts that I wish I had communicated to her had I known...

I remember being at your house one day and you were admiring my mothering saying "Hon, how do you do it all?" And I laughed and said, "Oh Mimi, but you've done it all too!" And you said, "You know, you just do what you have to do, don't you?"

Those words "you just do what you have to do" have come to my mind often.  

You just do what you have to do...

When I am weary, when I am lonely, when I am overwhelmed.

You just do what you have to do.

And I think about how that rings true in your life.  You have set a high standard of what it means to do what you have to do - of making the right choice day after day, of living faithfully and loving well.  

I love this about you.  You passed this on to your son, Billy, and he passed it on to Will.  These men carry these traits of you.  Now I get to reap the great benefits of your legacy.  

Your legacy of living faithfully and loving well.  

Our fourth baby, Charlotte, carries your name because we hope that she can follow in this same example that you have set.  You are a true reflection of Christ and that is the greatest hope we can have for her.

Thank you so much for that.

Charlotte and Charlotte
On Thursday night, our family sat down and talked about the many things we remember and love about her...

Liam looked forward to motorcycle rides to her house with Pops (Billy).
Hayden remembers having a special morning with Mimi, making macaroni and cheese and cookies, just the two of them.
Harper loved popsicles at her house and remembers Mimi teaching her how to clap to turn the lamp off and on in her hallway.
Charley loved playing tea party with Mimi and going upstairs to see her purses.
We all remember celebrating Mimi's 87th birthday and Nora's 1st birthday together this summer.
We all loved the cards and gifts she never forgot to send on birthdays, holidays and anniversaries. 
We all remember how she loved Pawpaw.
We all loved how thrilled she always was to see us and be with us.  
Birthday celebration this summer
My grandmother has dementia and was moved to a nursing home not long ago.  Mimi began visiting her there.  I loved her so much for that.  And this summer I told her thank you for taking the time to go see her even when my grandma doesn't know who she is.  And Mimi said, "Oh, it just brightens my day to see her!"  It brightens HER day to visit my aging grandma in the nursing home.  Mimi was a rare and bright light in this world. 

We honor your memory across the ocean, Mimi.  We praise God for you and the glory you brought Him.  May we serve others here in Kenya as you did in your life. 


  1. Precious story...precious woman of God. I shall look forward to meeting her someday in glory! I am so grateful you had Charlotte in your life Alisa! Love to you all, Cheryl Williams

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