Wednesday, February 18, 2015

On the Passing of a Hart

Late last night there was a knock at the door as Adam and I were snuggled together in our bed with our four Daysies, watching a movie. Ellie answered it and I planned to remain hidden as my chin was caked with a green mask, fighting a recent acne outbreak. But when I heard a familiar and cherished voice, I came to greet my dear friend, Meachi. She had come to fill our glass cookie jar with her yummy sugar cookies, shaped as hearts--such a glass jar and promised monthly deposits being her Christmas gift to us last year. 

A friend too precious and dear to me for words, Mitra has been in my life ever since I was a teenager, being kind enough over the years to allow me to teach several of her children to play the piano, and now sharing an hour with me each week to work on her own piano skills in her continuous thirst to learn and grow. In all this time, she has always been my teacher--demonstrating with a quiet and tender grace these many years what it means to trust the Lord, to yearn for His truth and search for it in every endeavor; to remain positive in the midst of great trials and anguish of heart, and to yield to the promptings and impressions of the Spirit of God.

Often a tool in the Lord's hand to bring comfort and joy to others, she had planned to bring the cookies to a friend with another of her gift jars in a neighboring city, but on the way, she changed her mind and brought them to us. Today, I see God's hand in that simple decision; she did the errand of angels:

For today we learned early this morning of the passing of Arlette Hart Day, our dear Oma. After a long struggle, she at last travelled through that sacred transition from this life to the next. Her passing was within minutes of the time Mitra came to our door. Soon after learning of this news, Adam passed by the kitchen counter, saw the heart cookies sitting on the counter, and began to sob. Oma had always used hearts as her symbol because of her maiden name.

Pondering it all as I then drove Ellie the twenty minutes to her school, I knew what those heart-shaped cookies were: Oma's last attempt to share a treat with us and reach out in love to her family. Only those who knew her would understand. They would remember how each time they visited with her, she had a bag of fruit snacks, fig newtons, or suckers ready that she made sure you left with. They would think of how when she learned of the tumor in her sinus that was too large to be removed, she made it her mission for the remaining time she had on this earth to fill gift bags with treats, mementoes and gifts for all her many posterity. It was to be a last birthday present from their loving Oma. Her prayers in those final months were constantly that God would allow her enough time to finish her project of love. He answered that prayer. He also answered our prayers that when it was his will, she would be allowed to go without the predicted horrors we were told to prepare for. Late last night, her son and daughter-in-law were prompted to come to her room--meeting in the hallway--they entered and were with her, massaging her feet and shoulders during her last peaceful breaths.

She endured so much so well and oh how I hated to see what she was asked to experience these last weeks, but the Lord through many miracles eased her suffering: healing her hearing at one point so she would not continue to be deaf to her loved ones voices, healing severe pain in her lower body that was causing her to cry in pain with any movement. These were just some of the tender mercies of a loving Savior in her final weeks.

She could no longer talk, but motioned that she wanted to give a kiss to Adam and Angela each at a visit where they played their violins for her one last time. It was the day before she died. 

Adam and Arlette, September 2014, at the opening of Day Violins showroom located inside Day Murray Music. She and her husband opened the music store (DMM) a week before they were married. Oma was always a loving cheerleader of Adam's efforts to grow Day Violins.

How we will miss you Oma! How I cherish being able to spend an evening alone with you a few weeks ago; the sacred opportunity to help you. To have that quiet and solemn time to learn and cry with you as you showed me what it means to endure, care, and have patience for our bodies as they age and experience the trials of mortality.

Thank you for the cookies. You are forever dear to our heart.