Saints behind me, saints before me

I’ve just come off one of the more emotional weeks in recent years, a trifecta of challenges. A big part of it, as I wrote last week, was being in my hometown during the sudden decline and passing of my “other mother,” dear Ann Palmer of Tacoma, WA.

As sad as I am about her death, I feel inspired by how she lived, and so very grateful that she was a part of my life. Today was All Saints’ Sunday, and I attended services at my home church, St. Andrew’s Episcopal, which Ann and her family began attending in 1964 and my family began attending after we moved to Tacoma in 1969.

Fr. Martin Yabroff invited the small (but energetic) congregation to imagine that we are all runners rounding the track in an Olympic sized stadium filled with cheering saints. In the Episcopal tradition, these saints aren’t just the martyrs and miracle workers we hear about; rather, they are the people in our lives who inspire us and cheer us on. “We are not alone,” Fr. Martin said. Our stadiums are filled with people who have inspired us.

I know my Mom is in that stand, and someday, perhaps not so long from now, my Dad will be there, too. Ann and her husband, Terry, who passed away in 1998, is also there. “Others have been through terrible times,” Fr. Martin continued. “God wipes away tears. We shall persevere just as they did before.”

1 Comment

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One response to “Saints behind me, saints before me

  1. ciddyguy

    Another great post and yes, Mom was an inspiration, whether we were conscious or not of it.

    Today, before leaving David’s place, I cleaned up their kitchen so that’d be one less thing for them when they got home. David was at church, Amy and their son ran to do errands and while gone, I got in there and did it.

    Then came home and later this afternoon, got in mine and gave it more than a cursory cleaning you do after a meal, but pulled out my small stove, cleaned behind it, under it, the outside of the stove itself and gave the range hood a good cleaning, and all adjacent walls and cabinets fairly good with ammonia and water and got the front and top of the fridge too. The floor is next. Then it’s time to fix dinner.

    Mom inspired me in many ways and it’s mostly just her being her, but the things she did over the years as well, like coming home from school to see her mostly at the sewing machine, if not there, in the kitchen getting the initial beginnings of dinner ready to start, when she wasn’t gone, which was not too often thankfully. That is a memory I treasure.

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