Weighing Matters

my journey to b.e.t.t.e.r

Thelma Rose

Mikelle’s dear friend and resident where she has been working the past year and a half passed away. It was never Thelma, always Thelma Rose.

This amazing, wonderfully warm friend made a huge impact on my daughter’s life and on her heart. And I will always be grateful for that. Thelma Rose had very few moments of clarity, reality or moments in the present.  She rambled on about past memories, past experiences and brought them right into today as though she were currently participating in some adventure or mystery. But she loved Mikelle. And Mikelle adored her!

I’d call her or text and ask what she was doing and inevitably Mikelle was doing Thelma Rose’s hair, her nails, rubbing her feet, laughing with her, making home movies or just sitting side-by-side on the couch chatting or watching So You Think You Can Dance. This is a nursing/retirement home! [They’d all say “You call that dancing?!?]

One day Mikelle called me and said that Thelma Rose had had a few minutes of total clarity and she told Mikelle in the sweetest, most personal and earnest way. “I want you to get your life together, Mikelle, so we can spend all of Eternity together in heaven!”

Oh my goodness. It broke my heart and made my day all in one moment of clearness.

Thelma Rose told Mikelle what I’ve been telling her for years, only it sunk in when Thelma Rose said it. Thank you Thelma Rose. Thank you for loving Mikelle. Thank you for including her in your life. Thank you for sharing your smile and laughter with her. Thank you for warming and expanding her heart. Thank you for including her in your expectations. Thank you for encouraging her to get it together!

Love you Thelma Rose! Rest well. See you in heaven!

December 31, 2009 Posted by | Friends, Life | Leave a comment

finally feeling

I’ve been pretty grumpy this season. [I try hard to not show it or to let everyone know, but I can feel it inside.] I’m not sure what it is or what it means. Maybe it means I’m getting old and tired of all the hype. Maybe it means I’m tired of the ads and vendors and retailers. Perhaps I’m tired of expectations and ‘shoulds.’ I know I’m tired of spending money.

Anyway.

Today we had a wonderful lesson in Relief Society. Then we had an equally wondeful Sacrament service. Some of my favorite people took part in the program and it was precisely what I needed to soften this old stoney heart and realize the blessings of The Season. The Primary sang, Olivia sang, the men’s choir sang. Merlin and Clinton spoke.

But what melted my heart was hearing Mary Anderson sing ‘O Holy Night.’

Oh my goodness.

This woman is already one of my favorite people. She is already such an example of giving, sharing, doing good works, family, motherhood. She is already an inspiring teacher and speaker. She is already all I ever want to be. But to hear her sing puts me in another dimension. I swear the veil parts and I hear angels. I see goodness in the world. I see hope and charity. I feel my faith and testimony expand.

I’ve lived in this valley nearly thirty years and for the first twenty Mary sang every Christmas. But she hasn’t lately and I’ve missed it. I’d nearly given up ever hearing her beautiful rendition because she’s actually said she’s through with public singing.

I don’t know who convinced her to sing one more time. I don’t know who had to beg. But I’m so grateful I was there, on my second-row bench, sobbing with gladness and overcome with emotion as she sang every note, the special ornamentation she added to the last few words ‘O night divine’ and the reverence she conveyed to each of us in the chapel today.

Truly, my life has been changed by hearing her sing these words. Truly, I now feel the Christmas Spirit.

Thank you, Mary.

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

December 20, 2009 Posted by | Blessings!, Friends | 2 Comments