Dear Extended Oasis Family and Friends,
"Mother's Day" is this Sunday, as if you did not already know. I've written 40 years of Mother's Day tributes... 26 years here at Oasis. This is a very special day around the world. At Oasis Church, this weekend will be one of our BEST EVER! Our team has put together some really great things to honor all of our mother figures whether it's your Mom, a Grandma or you. It is definitely a weekend to bring your whole family. It will be very special.
As I've mentioned every Mother's Day, it's always a bitter sweet day because while we honor our Moms, for some families, mom was absent or the relationship was strained or is strained. Some of our Moms are no longer with us. I know I've always tried to imagine what that would be like on Mother's Day. I know it is painful and now, this year, it has become personal as I celebrate Mother's Day without my mom. But I salute all the Moms in my life. Tonia, who is the most phenomenal Mom and Grandma and Ta-Ta ever. My two daughter-in-laws, Jenni and Sabrina, that are not only gifts to our sons and our grandkids but to us as in-laws. We could not have asked for better ones. Lastly, but one of the most special people in my life, is my mother-in-law, Yvonne. Not only did she raise the most incredible wife for me, but she set us up and knew we would marry before we did, or before we even started dating. I often say I loved her before I loved Tonia. Happy Mother's Day to all the women in my life and Happy Mother's Day to all our Moms of Oasis. Words can't express our love for you.
NOW SOMETHING I'VE NEVER DONE BEFORE, BUT TO HONOR MY MOM I WANT TO SHARE THE LITTLE BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH I WROTE FOR HER MEMORIAL SERVICE LAST NOVEMBER.
The Dash between the Date
January 9, 1931- November 20, 2016
It's often said the most important thing on a person's headstone is the Dash. It's not the Beginning and the Ending. In the case of Zilla C. Melton this dash could fill volumes during her lifetime.
Zilla Childs was born on January 9, 1931 in Lakeland, Florida to parents, George Childs and Mabel Turner Childs. She was the younger of two siblings. Her brother Burke Childs preceded her in death. Zilla grew up in a hard working family. Her father George opened the First Ford Dealership in Central Florida and owned it until his retirement. A favorite story he liked to tell is that he sold George Jenkins, founder of Publix Supermarkets, his first set of tires on credit when he had no money.
Zilla grew up in Winter Haven, Florida where she graduated from Winter Haven High in 1949. She attended Florida State University following graduation, before marrying James H. Melton on September 29, 1950. They had 4 wonderful children, Tracy, Ron, Guy and Cindy. All survive their beloved mother and have provided her with 10 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren and a host of in-laws.
After moving to Hollywood, Florida in 1963, Zilla began working for the Broward County School board working herself up from an aide to secretary and ultimately served as Office Manager in two Pembroke Pines Elementary Schools for 30 years before retiring.
Zilla was known for many things but chief of them all was, Mom and Granny. Her priorities in life were clearly, faith, family, and food in that order. She adored her family and her family adored her. Every child, grandchild and even great grandchild was always made to feel like they were the most special. She had a unique way of making every person feel special. She was quiet, shy and unassuming but impacted 1,000’s of people beyond her family.
She was one of 11 founding members who began Oasis Church of South Florida in September 1991 and served there in most every capacity during her 23 years as a faithful member before moving to Covenant Village of Florida in Plantation. Her almost 3 years at Covenant Village were the happiest years of her life. Every time there was an event or a bus leaving she was there and on the bus. All of us loved her daily pictures and updates on Facebook whether it was at her first dance, a chef's talk or a visit to Hollywood Beach, her favorite place in all the world, with her Covenant Village friends.
Whether you call her Mom or Granny you will always cherish the memories of the reunions she organized, the summer beach stays on Hollywood Beach, the Tea Parties, annual Hallmark Ornaments she bought for everyone and anything else where there was fun and food.
Zilla had every one of her final wishes granted. She was pain free, her sickness was quick, she passed away in her own home and she had many of her family holding her hand, praying over her, singing hymns and sharing their love for her as she took her last breath and entered into the presence of her Lord she loved so much and longed to see. Her greatest wish was that all her loved ones would know Jesus, serve Him and spend eternity with her. She shared this continually with her family until her very last hours. That is the legacy of Zilla C. Melton and only a little of the Dash of what would fill volumes of her life between the dates.
So long Mom, Granny, Aunt and friend. We love you and “we will see you in the morning.
AND FOR ALL OF YOU WHO SHARE THIS FIRST MOTHER'S DAY WITHOUT YOUR MOM, KNOW THAT YOU ARE IN MY PRAYERS AND I HURT WITH YOU. GOD BLESS YOU.
And for all of you who still have your Moms… love them while you can.
I love you Oasis Church and I am humbled to be called your Pastor.
P.S. Ladies don't forget DREAM Conference! We are just a week away from what will go down as one of the most powerful women’s events at Oasis. There’ll be so many creative elements and a host of speakers who will pour into you. But, beyond that, you will be challenged to be UNLEASHED! So much more in store for you! You’ll just have to be here to see for yourself. If you would like to register now, click here to complete the form.
P.P.S. MEN, THE "MEN'S BEACH RETREAT" IS ALMOST FULL. IF YOU PLAN TO GO YOU HAD BETTER GET REGISTERED. WIVES, REGISTER HIM NOW AND GIVE IT TO HIM FOR FATHER'S DAY. DON'T BE LEFT OUT. THE RETREAT CENTER IS NOT LARGE AND THERE IS ONLY SO MANY BEDS. Sign up now!
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