Yesterday was so very different from my normal Sundays. I thought about visiting some other church, just to not be surrounded by sympathetic people who really don’t want to make me cry, they just can’t help it. But I went to my own church after all and I’m glad I did. Terry preached a message that seemed just for me and I didn’t cry when people expressed their sympathy. After lunch, though, the afternoon hour when I usually visited or called Ora Lee seemed so strange, empty and lonely.

Ora Lee wasn’t my birth mother but she had grown so precious to me after Tim and I were married. My own mother died in 1970 and Ora Lee was like my second mother. I know she’s in the midst of a wonderful crowd of family and friends, catching up on all the news. One arm around T.C., another arm around Tim, Theron and her mom with their arms around the whole bunch of them – I can visualize her like that today.

And I can see Ora Lee with her lists, her notebook and pen making lists of everybody she wants to visit, everything she wants to see, and all the prayers she still wants to pray for those of us back here on earth. What I don’t see is the toothpicks she always had nearby! No walker, either.

Since she was “only” my mother-in-law, most people have no idea how important Ora Lee was to me. She was Tim’s life-giver twice, his life-saver, his life-preserver, his pray-er, his friend and listening ear and adviser and encourager, and because of that she was mine too.

I returned to my volunteer work at the ship’s office today and actually was able to do some work. Many team members are away right now so the office was quiet. It wasn’t as noisy as normal, but that was okay. I’m not up to normal yet.