Timing is all…
Wednesday, August 30, 2017, was an intense day. My emotions ran the gamut from profound sadness to overwhelming love to incredible joy, over the course of both hours and moments. I’m actually still trying to process it all, and in doing so, I’ve spent a bit more time lately just keeping to myself and being still.
It was the beginning of my work week as Wednesdays always are, but with a distinct change in the middle of the day when I took a 3-hour lunch to go and sing for a funeral at Messiah Lutheran Church, where I sang and served from 2013-2016. The associate pastor’s mother had died, and I adore both pastor and mom. Being asked to offer music for this occasion both honored and humbled me, as I would have attended the service even had I not been singing.
Even the most seasoned of musicians sometimes feel nervous, especially when called upon to provide music for funerals and memorials. It is only natural. And nerves visited me as well. My friend and #firsteverworkhusband Martin, knew how much I love this family, and how important the service was to me. We exchanged messages first thing in the morning and throughout the day. I had gathered a little token of love for Pastor Pauline to take with me and give her prior to the service, along with a big hug. A reminder that she has not lost her marbles.
As I had predicted, my singing was not easy or perfect, but it was, as I told Mother Farrington’s grandchildren afterward, with my speaking voice breaking, “…a way for me to love your family…” Reuniting with my former “choir boss”, Joan, to make music for this service comforted me, and being back among this church family warmed my heart and made me feel loved. As I have come to understand, musicians and people of faith are all part of the same family; we never really say goodbye and we always recognize and welcome one another back.
I left the fellowship hall and I walked to my car with tears of sadness, gratitude and love…and I thought the intense part of my day had passed. Knowing that Martin had held space for me meant the world to me, especially with everything he has endured this year…a transitional period in his relationship, his health, undergoing medical procedures, and his living situation, including being without a home for months and staying with friends/family, and in shelters ranging from tolerable to hellish. His, and my, fondest wish, had been for him to find a place to live, and that process seemed to be taking longer than forever to happen. Until this intense day. Almost the minute I returned to work, Martin ping’ed me with a message.
Anyone who knows me or reads this blog knows that feathers are for me a symbol, a powerful reminder that God is there, looking out for me and my loved ones, sending comfort when I need it in a language I can understand. When this teeny feather floated down after the funeral and landed on the program, I assumed it was just for my benefit…turned out to be a harbinger of Martin’s wonderful news as well. That his housing came through at the same time I sang and we were commending Mother Farrington to her home in Heaven…seemed, and still seems, especially poignant, and fitting. For her, and for Martin, it was time to go Home.