Monday, June 04, 2007

A story

But for today, not my story. Today a story about someone I've been thinking of a lot lately. Someone who's gone and can no longer tell her own story.

Mrs. R.

Mrs. R attended my tiny childhood church. She was, by society's standards, a completely unremarkable woman. Plain and ordinary. Not strikingly attractive. Nor wealthy nor particularly intellectual or articulate.

And yet, Mrs. R has a profound influence on my life. I could tell dozens of stories about her but for right now, only 3.

I was baptized as a teenager in our town's river. It was mid-September. In Manitoba. What does this mean? There had already been frost on the river that month. It was cold.Very cold. That's one of my main memories of that day: How very cold that water was. My other memory of that day? Walking out of that river to Mrs. R with her arms outstretched with a blanket. She was not my mom nor even a relative or a very close friend. And yet she had thought to bring a blanket to wrap me in.

I am 37 years old. I learned to recite the books of the Bible in order at about the age of 10. I still know them. That's 27 years. And, in that time I have taught the diddy I learned to at least 20 children. And who taught me that song? Mrs. R.

The third memory (and the one that seems to stick with me the most): Mrs. R lived on an acreage in the country. She had a rather unusual home surrounded by flowers. Just like their owner, her gardens were neither beautiful nor particularly well organized. And yet, there were flowers. Lots and lots of flowers of every colour and variety. And nearly every Sunday in summer those flowers graced the table at the front of the church. No two bouquets the same and yet all of them beautifully arranged and placed there in love and obedience to her God.

It's been nearly 20 years since I've had any regular contact with Mrs. R. And yet I still think of her. Often. And I think we should all be so lucky to be remembered for a warm blanket and bouquets and bouquets of flowers.

Thank you, Mrs. R.


Blogger Heather said...

Ah yes - who can forget all those flowers!

9:49 PM  
Blogger Irene S said...

What was the diddy you learned to learn the books of the Bible?

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Marja said...

And of course, I am crying.

9:10 AM  

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