For [s]he will never be shaken; The righteous will be remembered forever.Psalm 112:6
I believe I met Mrs. T on a Thursday night.
It was a Thursday evening when I pulled into the Hope Lodge behind the university hospital. I parked and got ready to roll up my sleeves. The Hope Lodge is where people receiving cancer treatments and their families can stay while they are completing their treatments and procedures far from home. A good friend and brother from the church works at the hospital, and he came up with the great idea that we should go and help out serving dinner once a month to the families in residence and that we should visit with and sing to the patients. As a church, it was something we loved doing.
That evening, the kitchen was bustling under the bright little kitchen lamps. Some people were stationed at the food trays, others were at the sinks washing bowls and plates, and some were helping others sneak an extra dessert (just kidding). After serving the food, our church music group would set up the keyboards, guitars and microphones, and we would start singing songs about God’s love, mercy and the hope we can find only in Him.
That evening, a woman caught my eye. She was seated close to the microphones, and she was holding one of our song books. She was singing loudly with us. That was Mrs. T.
After the music time, we would sit at the tables and talk to the families and hospital patients. They were all very sweet people. I became friends with Mrs. T. We exchanged numbers, and we kept in touch by phone. There were times when I escaped the campus to hang out with her and talk.
She was a strong woman, and she wanted to see the town a bit more, so we arranged for a museum day. On museum day, I came to the Hope Lodge, and Mrs. T was with her sister who was visiting her. They were looking stunning. Mrs. T had a lovely orange scarf tied as a turban around her head. She was the classiest woman in town that day. I always appreciate a woman who can pull off an amazing turban and bright lipstick–a woman after my own heart. I took them to the art museum, and we had a ball. She knew so much about the different painters and works of art, and she told me what museums were like in her country. She told me about all the places she had traveled, and her sister was very sweet. I remember the university hadn’t finished the new Eastern Art wing and garden. Mrs. T wanted to see it.
On another occasion, she and I hit “downtown”. It was a cloudy day, and I remember we ate at this marvelous little Italian place where a lot of jurors from the local court would go for lunch. We ate a hefty plate of pasta and chatted about life and faith over garlic bread. She would ask me about my studies, and I would bore her with my stories about reporting. She always seemed amused.
Mrs. T eventually finished her treatments and was sent home. I didn’t see her after that. We kept tabs on each other through our common friend who works at the hospital.
Yesterday, Mrs. T passed away.
I pray that her family finds comfort in this difficult time. I pray God puts His unmovable peace that surpasses all understanding in her loved ones. I pray He fills them with hope and the knowledge that some day there will be no more death, sorrow or crying because He has conquered all things. I pray that God fills her family with the same kind of faith she had.
Though she is resting, her influence remains. I can say that her faith impacted me. She had a solid faith. She knew God was at her side, always. She knew she was not alone. This wasn’t something she hoped, it was something she knew.
She was a lovely, lovely woman. If there was a word lovelier than lovely, I would use it. She was very kind and always encouraging, despite all she was going through.
I am forever grateful and blessed that our paths crossed.
I thought it would be appropriate to dedicate the song “Be Still My Soul” to her family. It is sung in this video by one of the lead singers of our church music group:
To her family, with all of my love and prayers.