Michelle Gina Howell's Memorial

Michelle Gina Howell
(1968 - 2005)

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General Details

Name: Mrs Michelle Gina Howell
Nick Name: Shell
Maiden Name: Countryman
Gender: Female
Age: 36 years old
Lived: Sunday, 16 June 1968 - Friday, 27 May 2005

My Story


I first met Michelle when we were six years old.  Our mothers knew one another since they were young girls.  My daddy was killed in a car accident in April of '74 and Michelle's mother, Shirley, came down from Indiana to attend the funeral.  She invited my mother to come up there in the summer to visit.  We flew up there on our first airplane flight and Michelle's parents picked us up at the airport.  I took a liking to her dad right away because he was very funny and made me laugh.  We were almost to their house when Shirley said something about "the girls".  I remember thinking, "Girls?!?!"  As a 6 year old I dreaded staying in a house where there more girls (I had a sister who was around 17 months old at the time).  Little did I know that these "girls" (Michelle and her sisters) would become more like my sisters in the years to come. This was the day I would meet Michelle, Cathy and Cindy.  Later on they would have two more children, Ronelle and Buddy.  However, they were not yet present when I first met Michelle.  (As Shirley would say, "they were in Egypt picking peas"; haha)

Even though they were girls, we had a blast that week.  We played and  formed lifelong friendships.  I have pictures where we played church.  (If you have never attended services at any of our churches you might not understand this part).  I preached, we sang and Michelle went to the altar, haha.  5 years later, Michelle would go to the altar (except this time it was very real) at church and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  I was there that night.  We were "liking each other" (that's what we called it back then) that week.  Altar call had been given and I wasn't allowed to get up and walk around in church, so I sent another kid over there to give her a message for me.  He came back and said, "Michelle went to the altar".  I was shocked!!  We were only 11 years old at the time, actually Michelle was still only 10 and three days later would turn 11.  I managed to get to where I could kind of see her but it was difficult because so many were crowded around praying for her.  It was only a few minutes and she came up with the Holy Ghost.  It tore me up bad because she had the Holy Ghost and I didn't.  I guess that is when I realized that I wasn't ready to die.  The next morning, the altar was full of kids, haha.  We all wanted what Michelle had received from God.  Over the next few years, a lot of the kids our age received the Holy Ghost but it started with Michelle.

A few years before that night took place though, they had moved to Alabama from Indiana.  Michelle eventually started going to school at Skyline and they put her in the class that I was in.  Her name was Gina Michelle but she liked Gina better even though she had always been called Michelle by family and friends that knew her.  What I didn't know that at the time was that she had decided to take advantage of a new school.  She wanted to be called Gina from now on.  However, when the classroom door opened and she walked in, I hollered out, "Hey Michelle" and as she always reminded me I "blew it" for her:^) Everyone knew her as Michelle from then on.

We remained close as the years rocked on.  We weren't always in the same classes in school together but we still talked a lot.  Sometimes we "liked" one another but most of the time we were just friends.  Michelle was very pretty and always seemed to have boys lined up to be her boyfriend.  When we became teenagers and could actually date we were "best friends".  She always had to have a chaperone when she dated but me and her could go places together and were not required to have anyone with us because we were such good friends.  Her dad said that I was like his son.  She talked to me about her boyfriends and I about my girlfriends.  We felt like there was nothing we couldn't talk to each other about.  I never even thought about dating Michelle.  She was like a sister.

One day the Lord spoke to me and told me that Michelle was to be my wife.  She was dating someone else and they were very serious. I told the Lord that if it was really His will for Michelle and I to marry that He would have to work it out because I was not going to try and break them up.  Well, He did work it out.....about six months later they broke up.  Michelle and I were in a gospel quartet at that time.  She played the piano and I sang.  We would ride to practice together.  Sometimes we would ride to the singings together. Riding home from a singing one night, we discussed how we felt about one another. We dated for 2 weeks and I asked her to marry me.  We were married a month and a half later.  At our wedding, we sang a song to each other called "Always"........

We were married for almost 18 years.  Never could have any children but we had each other.  We had a very close relationship.  She was sick a lot of that 18 years with various health problems.  There were a lot of days that I had to leave her so sick that I would wonder on my way home from work if she might have passed away (this was before cell phones).  Many times I would come home and she would be in the bed and I would kneel beside her bed and begin to pray.  Oh how wonderful our Lord is!!  Sometimes she would have migraine headaches so bad that she couldn't stand for me to whisper or even tiptoe across the floor (Shell, as I called her, had a very high pain tolerance and if she let on that she was hurting I knew she was bad).  I would kneel beside her bed and ask our good Lord to take it away and so many times he would. 

This was to be our life together.  Much joy but also a lot of sickness and pain.  I tried to be the best husband I knew how.  I wasn't perfect, I made so many  mistakes but I wanted to be a husband that she could be proud of.....and she was but I was also proud of her.  She was an example of how to press on in the face of difficult and hardships.  She showed us that you could still have a positive attitude and praise God even when you were hurting and things were necessarily going your way.  She was a true soldier for the Lord, ever perservering and enduring without complaining.  She trusted me more than I could ever have asked her.  If I felt like the Lord put it on my heart to do something, she never questioned me.  She always just supported me. 

"Shell, thanks for the example and pattern you left me to follow."

When it came down to the morning she died, she had slipped into a coma.  I never did really get to tell her goodbye.  She slipped into the coma and never came out.  I told her the best I could but didn't know if she heard me or not.  I wish so bad that, before the coma, I could have talked to her about decisions that I would have to make but I didn't want to discourage her.  She believed so strong that God was going to heal her.  The Lord had let me know about a month before she died that He was going to take her home to be with Him.  But She was right.  God did heal her....with permanent healing.  Now that she is with Him, she will never hurt again....she will never cry out with pain....she is healed.

It has been 3 years today since God took her home.  As I have heard said before, "We didn't lose her because we know where she is".  I will always miss her.  God answered so many prayers for us and we had a lot of joy in our life together.

One funny thing I do want to say:  Shell could not stand the thought of turning 40.  Cindy would kid her about it and she couldn't stand it.  I was four months older than her and she would always remind me that I was the oldest.  Well, she would have turned 40 next month.  I can just hear her laughing at me and saying something like, "haha, you turned 40 and I didn't, hahaha".  She would have loved rubbing that in on me.  

"Shell, I will never forget our life together. I know that you are resting and you are at peace. One day, when the last trumpet sounds, I will see you again. I won't know you as I knew you down here because in the resurrection there is no marriage but it will still be a great joy to see you in your new body that will be healthy for all eternity. I loved you with all my heart and will never forget you. Love, Scott"







Latest Tributes

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Heart Memorial Tribute
From: showell
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Shell, Well, another birthday is here but you are not. I know you would have told me that you are not counting yo...
Comment Memorial Tribute
From: showell
View Memorial's Tribute
Happy Birthday Shell!! You would have been 42 today....and you would have have hated every minute of it, hahahah. ...
Comment Memorial Tribute
From: BuddynLacey
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Shell, You've been gone for 5 years and not a day goes by that we don't think of you. I don't think our hearts will e...
Song Dedication Memorial Tribute
From: showell
Song Name: Always
Artist: Atlantic Starr
View Memorial's Tribute
Shell and I sang this song to each other in our wedding.
Memory Memorial Tribute
From: showell
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Shell, it's been 5 years since you left us....that is so hard to believe even still. You are greatly missed! Keep o...
Memory Memorial Tribute
From: showell
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Shell and her family used to come and visit her aunt every year. A couple of years after I met her, my family moved ...
Candle Memorial Tribute
From: miss
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Heart Memorial Tribute
From: showell
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I will always love the good times and memories I have of us. Scott
Candle Memorial Tribute
From: showell
View Memorial's Tribute
Your love was the candle that lit up my life. Scott
Stone Memorial Tribute
From: showell
View Memorial's Tribute
You were unmoveable, like a rock, when it came to your support for me.
Flower Memorial Tribute
From: showell
View Memorial's Tribute
I remember how you loved flowers with bright colors. Scott

Biography

Fathers Name: Ronald E Countryman
Mothers Name: Shirley Jean Brown Countryman
Country of Birth: USA
Country of Residence: USA
Marital Status: Married

Interests

Favourite Music Genre: Christian & Gospel

Passing

Place of Passing: Home
Date of Passing: 27 May 2005
Cause of Passing: Heart Failure
Type of Funeral: Church
Place of Burial: Hytop Community Cemetary
Funeral Director: Scottsboro Funeral Home
Funeral Location: Skyline Holiness Church
Funeral Date: 29 May 2005
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