Our Elizabeth

written by Bridgette Hester, Hubble Foundation


Normally, the Hubble Foundation blogs, writes articles, or otherwise brings to light our fallen climbers. I post things on the Facebook page, Twitter, the website, or other social media avenues. However, today I want to take a moment to blog about a behind the scenes treasure to Hubble Foundation.
Here at Hubble Foundation we have quite a few volunteers that will at any moment in time, drop what they are doing and work with me to make some things happen; a Christmas drive, a fundraiser, planning, helping out another climber that can’t be funded through the foundation itself, things of this nature. I love every one of the volunteers that give selflessly of their time and their energy. There is much I would not be able to do without them, and that is a fact.
Yesterday, I was notified that one of my most precious of volunteers went home to be with the Lord. Elizabeth Mims is the mother to Lucas Tucker. Lucas died in 2009. He was only 28 years old when he fell 100 feet from a 337 foot guyed tower in DeKalb, Texas. He was installing transmission lines for Metro PCS. I first found Elizabeth and reached out to her in 2013. In July of that year, she sent me a letter. Elizabeth said in her first letter to me that she had thought her son “had been forgotten” and that her writing back to us was the first real time she felt like she had to mourn her son, and it freed her. She filled me on Lucas’ children and what wonderful children they are.
From that point on, we communicated via letters and phone calls mostly, but a couple times through Greg’s (her wonderful husband) email. We would chat, laugh, cry, and talk about Lucas, her grandbabies, and her other sons, Philip and Jake. And we would talk about faith. It wasn’t something she gave lip service to, she lived her faith, and it was evident to anyone that knew her. She was an inspiration to me.
Elizabeth and I always wanted to get together. We wanted to be in the same place, “hug each other’s necks,” break bread, and just “hang.” I was planning to get to Texas in 2016, and I knew I wanted to see her and spend time with her, Greg, and meet Lucas’ brothers, Jake and Philip, and Lucas’s children, Kane and Kaylie. We had a plan, 2016 was going to be the time.
I don’t think there are words in any language to express how I felt after I talked with Elizabeth. My soul felt a little lighter, my burden a little less, & any melancholy would vanish. Her first and most distinct characteristic was her love. Her love, she was quick to tell you, came from God. Despite having lost her son, she carried on, and wanted nothing more than to share that love, to pass it on to someone else that needed it. She wanted that love to invade her friends, coworkers, husband, children, grandbabies, and ….other families of the fallen. She didn’t just want to convey her love, she wanted it to permeate their lives. It didn’t matter if she met them or not, she just wanted to love and comfort anyone she met.


Elizabeth Mims
In a later letter, and phone call, we discussed a way in which she could volunteer. Her idea was to send cards or letters to the families of the fallen on the anniversary of their loved one’s death. She said she never wanted any of them to feel like their loved one had been forgotten, and she didn’t want anyone to feel alone. She said she knew some might not want the contact, but she and I would be able to determine that as we went along. . I told her I thought the idea was fabulous, and if that’s what she felt led to do, that’s what we would do.
Well. That was that. I copied and pasted a list, and updated (and am still updating) the list regularly, ordered and mailed her cards with not just the foundation on the card, but my name and her name as well.
Our Elizabeth was “old school.” Not only did she place the card in the envelope, she handwrote (a lost art if you asked either Elizabeth or myself) a letter to each person. She didn’t want it to just be a card. She wanted to send a little piece of herself in every correspondence. Aside from having the most excellent handwriting I have ever laid my eyes on, they had a way with words. Her words brought comfort, strength, but most importantly, her words conveyed love. Not a contrite “I am so sorry for your loss,” but an “I have lived it, I am here, call me, we’ll cry together, and tell each other about our loved ones.” I know, because even though I run the foundation, in July of this year, she didn’t forget me. I got an “Elizabeth letter” remembering Jonce this year. It hangs on my office wall.
Elizabeth Mims
Her son Philip called me on the second or third of November, and told me that Elizabeth suffered a heart attack on Halloween. She was released, and then suffered a series of serious heart attacks after that. She had since been fighting for her life in ICU until yesterday, 11/18/2015, around 11 AM. I heard about her passing, and in between classes, I spoke with her son Philip. I promised myself I wouldn’t cry on the phone, but I did. It felt like a literal piece of my heart had died. My heart literally aches for her family.
After her initial heart attack, her husband Gary told me that she was concerned about those cards. She wanted to make sure they were sent out, that families weren’t forgotten. She wanted to work on them and get them out. I have to tell you, that doesn’t surprise me. She had told me in another call that she felt such peace and happiness when she wrote those cards. She prayed over each one before she mailed them, and she felt a cathartic healing for herself every time she mailed one to a family. Even after a heart attack, Elizabeth still wanted to serve others. I told you. She lived her faith.
I have and continue to cry my eyes out for a woman that I knew only through letters, phone calls, and emails. However, it dawned on me that letters, phone calls, and emails were only the medium in which we communicated. Our communication, while only for a couple of years ran much deeper. We spiritually recognized one another. I was (and still am) crying and feeling horrible for both her family & myself…. because we all lost a light.
We lost the light of a person that loved fiercely, that placed God first, others second, and herself last. We lost someone that was the living epitome of what it means to really love others, and it feels like the world has become a bit more dim. If you knew Elizabeth, you know I speak the truth. If you didn’t know Elizabeth, or never got the chance to speak to her, I feel you missed the most precious woman I think I’ve ever known.

Thanks to Gette from the Hubble Foundation for this sincere piece on a beautiful soul. Our thoughts and prayers are with Elizabeth’s family and with Bridgette Hester.
Amy LavinOur Elizabeth
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