Wednesday, July 16, 2008

RELIEF SOCIETY AT JAMESTOWN

Jamestown is a local care center with many levels of care. From minimal, to a total Alzheimer's unit. The local churches provide Relief Society once a week for the residents. Today it was our ward's turn. Kay gave the lesson and was very nervous. She shouldn't have been, she gave a great lesson and had good participation.
This is a terrible picture of Kaye, she's in the middle.One of the residents played the beautiful grand piano and the opening song's words were actually written by a resident's sister many years ago and is included in our world-wide church hymnbook.


The Relief Society president had warned Kay that some of the residents might sleep and some might close their eyes and look like they were sleeping but would be paying attention. That didn't happen, the sisters all payed attention and many of them volunteered stories from their own lives.
The lesson was a comforting one, about life after death and resurrection. Most of the residents have lost their husbands, one brand new resident lost her husband three weeks ago and she was married at age seventeen so this is a big change for her--I figured she had been married at least 60 years and maybe 70. How hard that would be to loose your husband after being married that long?


Many stories were told about stillborn children, one woman told about her brother who was shot down over the English channel during World War II. His body was never found and she told of her mother searching the faces in the newsreels when prisoners of war were photographed. She said her mother was only comforted by knowing that she would be reunited with her son when she died. Then she got a far away look in her eyes and said, "He was so good, always wanted to do what was right."


The sister I sat by had lost a seventeen month old boy who drowned in an irrigation ditch. She told me that was the hardest thing she has ever gone through. She said, "I am so grateful I know where he is and that I will be reunited with him one day."


The faith and goodness of all these women was wonderful to witness. They voiced the comforting knowledge that they will be resurrected and live with their families again.


The woman who gave the closing prayer gave a beautiful prayer. It was short but eloquent and meaningful. One of the things she said was to ask Heavenly Father for "peace, comfort and joy." I talked to her after and she said, "It's a privilege to talk to my Heavenly Father." She had the sweetest expression when she said that.

After the meeting they go in to lunch, and sit a tables with white tablecloths. This is a nice time for them to socialize with each other.


Some of the residents were going on a bus for a picnic in the park and then later there was a scenic bus ride available.

I was glad I had the opportunity to be in the company of these faithful, lovely women.

3 comments:

Astromom said...

This made me cry. Sometimes people don't appreciate all the life and experiences these elders in our society have. What a wonderful service but also a blessing to be with these special guardians of our heritage. We can be united with those we love again.

Evan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy said...

I have a friend who calls senior citizens those in their "wisdom years". I love that because it's true. Sounds like this group and much to share. How wonderful!! From the pictures that looks like an very very nice care center!!