Although St. Gregory’s was not a church of her denomination, Esther was pleased by the warmth and hearty welcome shown to her when she was able to attend our services. She regularly partook of Communion with us and enjoyed coffee hour. and lunches. St. Gregory’s members and our priest included her in their caring and love which so many persons feel.
I began visiting Esther in assisted living facilities, Hospice care (from which she recovered to live years more), and finally at Quiet Oaks Center at Crawford, Georgia. I also visited with her on several of her July birthdays. In all these situations I found her to be a deeply spiritual person, although she didn’t parade it around. Her good sense of humor was often in evidence.
As we grew to know each other, I asked if she would like a prayer. She was enthusiastic and we usually had some prayer time. But Esther always wanted to respond with an extemporaneous prayer for me and for others.
She was appreciative of small gifts (licorice candy with sparkles) being one of her favorites). She liked the flowers I brought, although her sight was limited. During Christmas about three years ago, she gave me one of her most precious gifts: a beautiful clock she had personally made of gorgeous jasper semi-precious stone. It represented a happy time during her rock-hunting days in the West with her late husband, which she talked about a lot. I treasure that jasper clock, made from the desirable stone mentioned in the Bible.
I was very grateful to be a part of the final rites for Esther at Quiet Oaks. She was non-responsive, but it was a peaceful and special time for all of us and the staff members who came to share Communion with us.
Her life was one of fulfillment and meaning, and it was revealed to all of us who knew her. Thank you, Esther, for sharing yourself with us. I would like to end this with the prayer I believe Esther lived by.
PRAYERS FOR USE BY A SICK PERSON (From The Book of Common Prayer) Esther and I used this prayer several times. She had a deep faith and trust that God was a loving God. She would say, without fear as she said it: “It is what it is.”
In the Morning
This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand up bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus, Amen.