Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lives Touched

The father of my dear, dear friend and colleague Stacie passed away quietly this morning after a fairly long period of illness. Since Stacie's mother died, just a couple of years prior to my mother's death, her dad was never really the same. With so much loss this week, I have been more contemplative. It moves me to be grateful for the countless blessings in life that are too easy to take for granted. I am more conscious of how delicate and precious are the people we love. It is so easy, day to day, to be confident that our loved ones will always be a part of our lives, but it is false confidence, too easily shattered. Parting can happen suddenly and unexpectedly or it can be a long process of erosion, bit by bit, with little awareness or even with carelessness. For a while, perhaps, I will remember to be more careful; more mindful; and to relish and treasure the people who have been woven into the tapestry of my life. But, it is so easy to fall into comfortable habits, to devote more time to tasks than to treasures. I am not speaking of worldy treasures, but the only real treasure - cherished life moments engaged with my husband, my son, my father and brother; and my much-loved friends who I have come to consider as family - like Stacie and several other long-time friends. Even when months have passed without contact, we can resume our connections as thought no time was lost. I am touched by the grace of their presence. And, though I know it is in my nature to fail, I am reminded to make more time for what counts - people, not tasks.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


What a distressing week!! Sunday morning at church, Mike learned that our beloved and crusty choirmaster Ron Shirey had a massive heart attack and passed away before services. The entire week was colored with his loss. How can our church choir endure without his presence? How can TCU ever fill his shoes? He touched thousands of lives through directing choir performances from Carnegie Hall to Nova Scotia to Europe and back. His footprints are left on the paths of his students as they scatter to the winds of the world and in the souls of anyone who listened to the UCC choir on Sunday mornings. It's a cliche - but truly - things won't ever be the same without him. His memorial service was yesterday afternoon and University Christian Church was filled with people like me in the sancutary and people like Mike in the choir, honoring his life. The angelic music filled and rang inside the church in fitting tribute to our teacher and choirmaster. I will remember him most as he processed into the church, often with Mike by his side on Sunday mornings. He is sorely missed.