Today was a day filled with subbing in church. I was asked to sub for the chorister in Sacrament Meeting. Then I offered to sub for Larry in the library since he was attending the inservice meeting. Went to RS and noticed no one at the piano so I subbed there...and I had already agreed to sub for Linda in teaching the class. I enjoyed it all but there was also this one tender moment.
I was sitting on the stand, next to Jill (organist) and looked out and saw Maria Maynard, wife to Chuckie Maynard (son of dear friend, Carole). Maria had complained to doctors for 5 years of a pain she felt. They blew her off every time. Even suggesting it was menopause and she just had to deal with us. And of course, trusting her doctors she didn't insist on tests.
About 2 weeks ago, cancer was found...cancer that probably had been there for 5 years. She went into surgery but nothing could be done. The cancer was 3B which means the cancer was in the tissues, lymp.
She came to church today with Chuckie and her 2 daughters, sitting right behind the Aaronic Priesthood pew. I watched Maria lean into Chuckie as if she could disappear into him. Tears would silently fall from her eyes, wiped away with a tissue, and such sorrow and sadness and pain and fear well expressed on her face. Often I'd have to breath deeply to silent my own tears for Maria. I wanted to tell her what I knew, hoped, wanted for her. Not sure how to do this. I wanted her to know that there is a life after this life. That she will never be far from her family, that the Lord would surely allow her to check in on things here on earth, and that they would feel her/sense her. I just know it because there are moments I sense my mom. Not a voice, not a scene. Just a sense that mom is near.
But I doubt I could know how to do this. At one point, I couldn't look at Maria and Chuckie again. I reached down and picked up the hymnal to check on the closing hymn for time signatures, fermatas, etc. I took a deep breath again and looked to see who had donated this book of hymns.
In 1985 a new edition of our hymnal were published. Our ward didn't have a lot of money so the bishop (Roger Osborne, I believe) suggested that if anyone wanted, money for hymnals could be donated and the ward would enjoy the new books. Because I had taken calligraphy classes, I was asked to inscribe in calligraphy who had donated the book. So all the book purchased at that time had this inscription.
So today, I flip to the donation page and there were the names...Roger and Gladys Osborne. My folks. I showed it to Jill and we smiled. She patted the book. And I had the courage after the final Amen, to walk down, wrap my arms around both Chuckie and Marie and say the words I had wanted to say. And we all cried. Then I could do the same to Regina and Carissa.
Carole called me in the afternoon and we talked about the medical plans. Maria will undergo radiation in hopes of controlling the cancer or getting rid of it before beginning chemotherapy. The outcome is grim but I'd like to hope that as grim the road might be there might be a chance Maria will beat this. Carole's other son, Johnny, beat cancer and is still here. I want this to be the same for Maria.
Robert also commented this afternoon that he's glad these books were donated and that these names are still there..remembrances of people now gone, or moved, or still sitting with us. I so wish these things could happen in all different sorts of ways so we always remember those who used to be people we played/served/worked with. It happens in every pew and is such a delight to open a hymnal on any given Sabbath and see a name...and remember.