I had hardly hit the “send” key before I got the first response. It was from Golden Parsons. The message read, “I’m praying for that precious baby.”
That was our Golden. Whenever asked for prayer she was always among the first to respond. We chatted for a few minutes and then closed our e-mail communication. Never would I have believed that I would never hear from her again.
I met Golden for the first time at the Southern California Women’s Retreat in Irvine, CA. Marita Littauer had brought this lovely, soft spoken pastor’s wife from Red River, NM to lead a workshop. I slipped onto the back row to listen for a few minutes. I’m sorry to say that I do not recall the topic of the workshop but I do remember the impression that Golden Keyes Parsons made on me that day. The only word that comes to mind is grace. I left that meeting room thinking, I want to be like that woman when I grow up.
Fast forward several years. My life had changed and so had Golden’s. Now living in New Mexico and working for CLASS, I had the opportunity to reconnect with Golden. I was immediately drawn to her gentle spirit and love of the Lord. I was in awe of how she never missed an opportunity to encourage someone in her path.
Golden was teaching a workshop at the 2006 Glorietta Christian Writers Conference. Her topic, When in the Mean Time is a Mean Time. While I don’t profess to be a writer, I could identify with that topic. She shared her story with ease, even the hard parts.
The very next spring Golden joined our CLASS teaching faculty and began training speakers and writers with our team. We all loved having her on the faculty. Golden brought with her a sense of peace and joy to our seminars.
Since the news of Golden’s death, we have heard comment after comment about the impact she had on the many who have been through the CLASS programs. What a wonderful legacy she has left behind. But her legacy doesn’t end with the lives she touched through CLASS.
Golden’s greatest legacy is her devotion to her family. She leaves her beloved husband and ministry partner of 54 years, Blaine, their three daughters, eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Her investment in the lives of her precious family and hundreds of others will only live on for years to come.
As I close I want to share a favorite anecdote that Golden used to share at many of our CLASS events.
It was 2006 and for many years Golden had been dreaming of writing historical fiction based on her family history. She had arrived at the Glorieta Christian Writers Conference with two goals. One was to deliver her workshop and the other was to try to pitch her fiction project.
Once the first goal was complete, Golden focused on the second. She had several appointments with editors but no takers. She found herself sitting next to a young woman in the editor’s room. Frustrated and discouraged she began to share her disappointment. Much to her surprise when she finished sharing her heart the young woman handed her a card. It read Mary Beth Chappell Literary Agent.
Mary Beth Chappell signed Golden as a client and negotiated her contract with Thomas Nelson. Not a one book contract, but a four-book contract.
Golden used to close this story by saying you just never know what God is going to do.
These are the words, our sweet Golden would share with you if she were telling this story:
“Don’t ever give up. Believe in yourself and what God will do in you and through you. You just never know what God is up to.”
Thank you, Golden for all you have given us over the years. Thank you for modeling a life well lived. May we all follow in your example.
If you have a memory of Golden you would like to share with the CLASS family, we invite you to share it here.
If you have not read Golden’s books, they are available on amazon.com.