I have been opening cards and notes people have sent me after my mother's death...at a snail's pace. It's hard to find just the right time to sit down and look at them; I'm not sure if I want to stretch out the consolation these messages bring or if I'm afraid of the emotions they unleash. Most likely It is a combination of the two. I know I will get through them all and will keep them to read over and over, because the love and sympathy they convey are like balm to my parched soul - and to Billy's, too. Though Mom had been sick for a long time and we knew she was nearing the end of her earthly life, the pain of losing her is still great. I miss my talks with Mom about nothing and everything. I miss her advice, which I received when I wanted it and sometimes when I didn't. I miss that love that a mother has for her child no matter how old the child may be - the closest to unconditional love many of us experience in this lifetime.
As much as she was ready, it was not easy for Mom to die. She struggled at the end and we struggled to manage her discomfort. In the last hours, I thought about how we come into the world through pain and distress and how many experience distress at life's end. The writer of Psalm 121 tells us, "The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore." What a wonderful truth to remember! The Lord who brought us here through the pain of our mothers' labor, welcomes us into a new life when we die, a life where pain and struggle are no more. How can we not give thanks for that, even when tears of grief are still falling?
This coming Saturday, June 4, the Oak Grove Pavilion kicks off its season with the White Top Mountain Band, a fabulous old time group from the White Top Mountain part of Virginia. The concert starts at 7:00 pm. As always, admission is free and donations are collected for the six non-profit groups we will support throughout the season. There will be a cake walk and a canteen and a chance to try out the new dance floor built by Peter Vandenberg and Walt Way. Hope to see you there!
We keep Chris Fones, who attends Zion, in our prayers as she recovers from a mastectomy performed last Friday. Thanks be to God, the surgery went well and Chris should not have to have further treatment.
Congratulations to our parish walking team, which has finished our eight-week walking challenge to walk across Virginia. The goal was 480 miles over an eight week period and by combining our miles over that time we walked and ran 531.5 miles, 138.41% of our goal!!
Well done, team: Beth Smith, Billy Motley, Virginia Neukirch, Peter Vandenberg, Marty Holliday and Linda Motley!
Thank you to Tom King, who organized the Memorial Day program at the Fallen Heroes monument at the Zion cemetery and to Ethan and Gavin Jackson, for laying the wreath during the service.
A message from Habitat for Humanity:
Habitat for Humanity, Inc. of the New River Valley has completed another home!
Please join us on Friday, June 17, 3:00 pm as we celebrate with the new owners of
227 Newtown Rd in Floyd, VA. Open house from 3-4pm, dedication at 4pm.
Parking is available at the Floyd County School Board office, 140 Harris Hart Rd. just off Newtown Rd, across the street from the house.
RSVP to tecarter@HabitatNRV.org or call 540-381-1144.
In Christ, Pastor Linda