On Saturday the women’s choir sang “Precious Memories” and “How Great Thou Art” at the graveside funeral for Rowena Jones. Her daughter, Stacie Turner, asked us to just before rehearsal Thursday so we had one practice with the songs. (We knew  the old hymn, but the other old timey tune was new to some of us.)

Singing in the cemetery, with the cold wind blowing off the river at Jones Point as the casket was carried to grave was moving and proper and somehow just right.  It was good that we were there. Yesterday I talked with Stacie for the obituary in the paper, and I thanked her for asking us.

I also visited with James and Phyllis Sage and Phyllis’s wife Joanne about Belle for her obituary. James and Phyllis’s mom’s memorial is at 4 tomorrow at the Presbyterian Church with tea and cookies following. It was good to have that visit too and hear the funny stories of their lives with Belle–  

Then, this morning my daughter called from Juneau on her way to teach first graders. I reminded her, that no matter how the day seems– and sometimes it can get sort of crazy in first grade– it will be a better day for her little students because she is there and loves them. It may even change their lives for the better in all kinds of ways she has no way of knowing now or maybe ever.

 Later this morning, I will meet a new hospice client and sit with her a few hours. Sometimes that’s hard. Especially at first. I will tell myself what a friend in Fairbanks told me– and what I know can be true– to say to myself as I get out of the car– “it is good that I am here”– and then take a deep breath and do my best to make it so.