Saying goodbye to family was so hard. We had said goodbye to Alec, Layne, and Jessa earlier. We had said goodbye to Madalynne and Morgan (and their mom and dad) when we left them in Michigan the first of July. And that meant that we still had Gracie & Noah, with their parents to bid farewell. The Sunday before we left, the church had a potluck after church in order to fellowship and say goodbye. Actually the women of my Bible study organized it, and it was wonderful, right down to the tables with linen and lovely centerpieces. There was a short time for remembrances after the meal and it was a lot of fun. We love the people at First Church; they have been our spiritual family for many years and we have grown & served & lived out our faith together in the uniqueness that only comes with being part of a church. Elaine sang a song for us: Make My Life an Alleluia--and I cried through most of it. And this was the day that our dearest friends would lay their hands on us and pray us into our future; “laying on of hands,” as we call it, always has a powerful effect on me.
But our last day at church was the day we were leaving. I’d not slept, we had a long drive ahead of us, & I was dreading the goodbyes. Then, too, I’d planned to speak & sing in a quartet, & knew that Rachelle had planned a special song. The speaking went well, singing the offertory went well, but then Rachelle & Brian sang a goodbye--one of my favorites: “Be At Rest.” Taken from the songs of David, this wonderful Steve Green version of Psalm 116: 7-8 says this: “Be at rest, be at rest once more, oh my soul, for the Lord has been good. For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and You, O Lord have delivered my feet from stumbling. Be at rest, be at rest once more. O my soul, for the Lord has been good to You.” And then Rachelle went out the back door of the sanctuary and I heard her sobbing out loud. I remember standing up when it wasn’t the time to stand, and just stumbled out after her. It was so very hard to hug her and Jeremie and little Gracie and Noah goodbye. I miss our children and grandchildren terribly. This is the borne cross. But the words are true and my soul is at rest; Rachelle knew it was just the right song to sing.