Sunday, October 18, 2009

Carry On!

After he coached Neal's final soccer game of the season (we only had eight players and should have forfeited but the other team wanted to play. The score was 0 to 0. Our best game of the season.) my husband and I rushed to attend the funeral of one of the dearest, wisest people I have ever had the privilege of knowing.

I first met Alice Ruth not long after I met and married my husband. She lived in the same canyon as my in-laws. It was her canyon. And you could not spend any time in the canyon without meeting her. She taught Relief Society then and I loved hearing her lessons. I honestly don't remember most Relief Society lessons. I find it hard to sit still that long (I suppose that's why I'm in the nursery). But I remember her lessons. I can't forget them.

She taught me how to pray unceasingly--to pray for my husband and children while I served them by making their dinner and matching their socks. She taught me to have faith in miracles and the power of the Priesthood. She taught me to enjoy and love my children--to forget about the dirty dishes occasionally and pull my little ones onto my lap for a hug and a story. She taught me to take a moment for myself--a little nap--so that I would be ready to serve my children when they needed me. She taught me to proclaim the gospel. She taught me to study my scriptures more diligently.

When my oldest children were very little, my mother-in-law and I would take the kids over to Alice Ruth's house to visit occasionally. She and Neal worked on a jigsaw puzzle while she told us stories of her adventures as the wife of a mission president in Brazil (twice). She told wonderful stories and she always bore her testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You could not doubt that she knew that Jesus Christ was her Savior. She knew it.

Her funeral, yesterday, was amazing. The talks given by her children and friends so perfectly described who she was and what she stood for. But the hymns, more than anything else, seemed a final message from Alice Ruth to those of us left in mortality. The opening hymn was "There is Sunshine in my Soul Today". Her grandchildren (she had many lovely grandchildren) sang "True to the Faith" and the congregation sang "Carry On" for the closing hymn.

Alice Ruth will be missed. Is missed. But she has taught those of us who had a chance to listen to her speak the things that really matter. And now it is up to us to have sunshine in our souls, remain true to the faith, and quite simply, carry on!

1 comment:

Rachel said...

She was a force and unforgettable. I have never met anyone else quite like her. Thanks for these thoughts.