Tuesday, April 18, 2006

a wonder laid to rest

Today, we laid to rest Flossie Banning.

I will miss her. She was a truly remarkable woman. One of the most senior of Trinity's membership, she was a hidden gem to too many. Her story was a tough one by any stretch. She was a single mother before such things were acceptable. She was a scrappy survivor who raised her own children and taught countless others. My favorite knowledge of her was that she was a looong time swimming teacher. Imagine generations of kids being given the courage in her coaching and coaxing to let go of the edge of the pool, put their face into the water and begin to build the courage they would need to cross the water under their own power and developing skill. Beloved of her husband and kids, we took turns ladling shovel-fulls of earth into her grave; and then celebrated her life with an amazing easter funeral. Alleluia!

My lasting, and last, memory of her will be of visiting her home the week before she died to give her communion. That day, there was a late snow that covered the yellows of newly blooming daffodils and forsythia with a cloak of soft white. For just a moment, spring was cloaked with winter. A witty juxtaposition of natures ways...and a supreme gift for a woman who, though movingly content with her dying process, had been told the she would never see another snowfall.

And she did.

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