Friday, June 20, 2014

Taking Care

I work in a large church and have this fancy-schmancy title.  I'm the Clergy Administrator.  That is a pretentious way of saying I'm the Preacher's Secretary. I've always thought if it walked like a duck and it quacked like a duck and it lives in a pond, might as well call it a duck. But somebody decided I needed a title to give me prestige, save my self-esteem and so as not to make me feel belittled (didn't know me very well now, did they?) Clergy Administrator it is.

Among other things, I act as funeral director/hostess when we have funerals and memorial services. While I have some rather humorous tales to tell concerning such events (like the time the funeral home came by with a casket and asked me if I could 'park' Granny in a closet till the service that evening. I'm not kidding. That particular funeral home isn't in business anymore). Today, I had a glimpse of an intensely personal moment. 

I was helping a man whose wife had died. She had fought disease for years, suffering setback after setback. Her body finally gave out, as bodies do, and now she has new life in a new form. Quite frankly, I couldn't be happier for her. To be in Glory with the Redeemer, why, it flat out blows my mind! Her husband, however, is left behind to become a me instead of a we. 

He meticulously planned her service, being very careful of each thing and making sure the proceedings were as they ought to be.  Our staff was vigilant to ensure the service was what he asked for and it was just lovely. When the service was over, I escorted the family out. We stopped in the Narthex to remove the pall and replace it with the magnificent spray of yellow roses her family had provided.

As the spray was lifted and placed carefully on the casket, one yellow rose fell  and fluttered to the floor. The husband, the man who had cared for this woman so tenderly and carefully...her lover and companion and mate, stooped down. He picked up the errant yellow beauty and with great tenderness put it back in the spray.

Y'all. I was undone. Un. Done. His simple act of fixing the flower, one last act of taking care of his wife was only seen by the few of us beside him. I choked back tears at the intimate nature of the gesture I was privileged to witness. 

Taking care. Isn't that what we do in marriage? We structure our lives together in such a way that we are there for those we love best. The one we love above all others. That one. Our spouse.  The one who makes our me into we.  The person who, when we get it right, can help us make just a bit of heaven on earth.

Taking care. I saw an amazing, simple act of taking care today. One that exemplified what I seek in my marriage. That's just what we are called to do for each other.

Our widower followed the casket to the hearse and then the hearse to the cemetery. He came back to the church for lunch and has now gone home. To start his altered life.

I came back to my office to finish the work laid out for me. Much to my surprise, I had a call from the front office to inform me I had received a flower delivery.  I went down and there was an amazing, extravagant display of red roses, nestled in babies breath. The card read, "Love, Ed" and there was no reason at all for him to have sent me flowers.

Other than my husband was simply taking care. Of me. 

I hope you have someone who takes care of you. And I hope you have the joy of someone to take care of. Because I believe the taking care...that is the good stuff of life.

Who me? {flashing big, innocent eyes}Stand up in the chair to take a picture of the pretty roses?
Nah! Not me?


P.S. This was written last fall and never published.


c.a. Marks said...

OH Molli, how beautiful. And I, too, chocked back tears while I was reading this. THANK YOU for sharing the story.

Mollianne said...

Thank you, Carol.

Raelene said...

Thank you for putting into words what I've been thinking about this past week. During our hospital stay I was struck by how grateful I was to be able to be there with my Ed. And how sad I was for his roommate who had one visit the entire time we were there.

Mollianne said...

Raelene, I'm sure you were wonderful help to your Ed while he was in the well as at home. That his cast stayed white and was able to come off so quickly is a testament to how well you took care of him!

gdot629 said...

Just beautiful! You and I are blessed wives, indeed. Glad you're back.

Mollianne said...

We are, indeed, my friend!