SHE LEFT ME WITH A MEMORY…

Remembering Mary

They appeared just before the service began.

 He carried a small pillow under his arm. 
 I wondered why.

 Together they sat in the front pew, listening attentively.

 One Sunday, as the service ended, Mary’s husband stood to leave.
 The pillow he had carried under his arm now lay on the church pew
where he had placed it.It showed two dents from his hipbones.

 A World War 1 veteran,
 Don had been gassed during the time of his service
 to our country. 
He was frail and attentive and attended the worship service with Mary
 every Sunday. 

I would never have known Mary
 had it not been for attending the same church as she and her husband, Don.
She was a faithful worshiper

Together, the two entered the sanctuary each Sunday.

 Leaving quietly without conversation, 
they offered a nod and smiles
 to those who greeted them.

Mary was a tall woman.
 On Sunday morning, she was always attired in her Sunday best.

 In winter, a bandanna around her head
 saved her from the cold and rain. 
Old-fashioned rubber boots protected her from the elements
 when necessary.

 

Mary would never know the lasting impression
 she made on my life, and surely on the lives of others.
 Her faithful love of the Lord, deep affection for her husband and two sons, and respect for the flag of our country was a lesson for many if they would only observe.

She never served on a committee at church, but attended every meeting. Having no vehicle,
 she walked the distance to the meetings
 from her home,
 a mile away at that time.

 One special meeting was scheduled to discuss the building of a new church. 
It was held on a summer evening.
 We gathered in the basement of our old church,
 and Mary was there.

The idea of our small congregation taking on this large project had been discussed for some time.
 During a moment of quiet in the meeting,
Mary reached in her old worn purse, pulling out a wrinkled bill.
 As she laid  it on the table, she said,

“There’s your first dollar”.
 The project was underway.

One January morning, 
church services were cancelled due to a blizzard.
 It was dangerous to ask the parishioners to venture into the storm.

I felt warm and cozy 
as I sat in my living room
 watching only a few cars driving down the highway.

Then I saw Mary.

 She was walking toward church, 
carrying her Bible.
 The ever present cold weather scarf 
was tied under her chin.
 Her long wool coat now offered protection from the blowing snow.
 I felt ashamed.
 I didn’t live as far from the church as Mary.

 I had a car.
Mary was walking.
I was relaxing in my nice warm house.
 The scene has stayed with me for many years.

Recalling another dreary day, as I was driving home,
 I saw Mary walking in the heavy rain.
Carrying her Bible, she was heading toward home.

 I stopped to give her a ride and asked her where she’d been. 
“I was at a Bible study at the church”, she said.

 As she climbed out of the car in front of her house,
 the rain was increasingly heavy. Thanking me for the ride, she walked over to their flag pole. Carefully retrieving our American flag from the pouring rain,
she folded it, and took it into her home.

Mary’s  favorite saying was; 
“God knows all about it!”

Reverend Jim once commented,
 “If it were possible to ride into heaven on someone’s coattails, 
I’d choose Mary.”

 

I hoped that Mary would have enough room on those coattails
 for me.

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”
(1 Peter 5:5 NKJV)

Unattractive,

    Uneducated,

          Uninformed.

Not practiced at correctness,

  Mary lived her life     

One

Simple

Uncomplicated day

At a time.

Never indulging in self-satisfaction,

Nor pursued by dreams of personal success,

Her simple life was unadorned with expectations.

Knowing no pretense

Mary cast her lot

With God.

God first

Love

Worship

Prayer

Service

Family second

Love 

Prayer

Care 

Service

Country third

Love

Service

Prayer

Respect

No unexpected event

No shortfall

No misfortune

Could cause her simple faith

To waver.

“God knows all about it,” Mary would say,

With a countenance that displayed

Unflappable peace.

Her life was uneventful

Her faith unshakable.

Her example unforgettable.

Never doubting the unquenchable supply

Of God’s love and care,

Mary lived to the fullest

The abundant life

Of a saint.

Her legacy to those who knew her

Was a trail of unerring discipleship

On her way to eternal life with God.

March 31, 1996

copyright©2018

Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN

The county fire trucks were blowing their sirens
as they slowly drove along the parade route.
The driver in each truck waved happily to the crowds
as they passed by.

 
 

 MEMORIAL DAY

2015

 

Memorial Day in our town is always a special occasion. When I was young, we called it Decoration Day, but be that as it was, we still decorate…and remember.

 

Standing beside the highway

we always wait patiently for the moment when the parade comes into view.

 

 It’s an exciting time for folks, young and old,

to celebrate the lives and service which many have given

for our country.

 

We can’t see them yet, but our ears tell us the high school band is playing

several blocks away

as they announce their arrival.

 

Today the foot tapping music of the parade is

“God Bless America” (thanks to Kate Smith)

and “I’m Proud To Be An American”  (thanks to Lee Greenwood).

 The county fire trucks are blowing their sirens

as they slowly drive along the parade route.

The driver in each truck waves happily to the crowds

as he passes by.

 

  Here come the clowns.

 

People dressed in clown suits walk on either side of the highway,

giving candy to the children

who are enjoying the fun.

 

Each and every road leading to the main highway

is blocked off by law enforcement

until the parade has passed.

This year, the highway near the library

is our place to watch the parade.

 

Next to us, is a young Mother and her two little girls

who are waiting excitedly for the American flag and the high school band 

to pass directly in front of them.

little girls watching clydes coming

I could hear the young woman softly advising her daughters

to stand on the curb until the parade was in view.

She told them…

“When the American flag passes by,

stand quietly with your right hand over your heart,

face the flag until it has passed.”

(And she showed them, which hand was the right hand,

and where one’s heart is located.)

 

She didn’t know I was listening through the open window in my car. 

 

I’m pleased that I was.

 

Through the years,

and especially the last few years,

 certain moments can bring me to tears.

This was one of those moments.

 

I’m sad that many have forgotten 

to teach our young children

respect for other people,

our country’s flag, traditions and beliefs.

 

We’ve somehow overlooked the responsibility of passing these legacies

to the children of future generations.

 

The quiet young Mother and her little girls left a lasting impression.

I hope you’ll take a moment to share it with me.

MEMORIAL DAY

God Bless The USA

copyright©2017

Photography By Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com