I’m sure it has happened to you, as it has often with me. You see a child and then you are separate for some time. When you meet again, you are taken back by their growth and change, because your mind remembers them exactly how you last saw them. I believe this happens in our adult relationships also. Our mind locks into the memory of our last encounter. This summer I was given the gift of resetting my last memory encounter with a very precious friend and a difficult last memory together.
We hadn’t fallen out or anything like that. No. My last memory of her and her husband (Roger) was of them in our little humble clinic. Roger had awoken with some stroke like symptoms. My friend asked if I would come to the clinic along with our doctor. Of course, I wanted to be there. I remember the complete exam as if it were yesterday. Our doctor encouraged them that it probably wasn’t anything to be overly concerned about, but to be extra sure an MRI would be prudent. Our machine locally, on the island, was out of order. So, it would mean a trip to Jakarta (a 5 + hour airplane ride away). We all believed that they would just go on a short trip to Jakarta and be back in a few days. They. Never. Came. Back. All their belongings were sorted through and handled by a friend. The MRI revealed a mass in Roger’s brain. He flew immediately home to America.
The memory locked in. Roger and Mary Kay in our care. Concerned looks on their faces, but hopeful. I remember their time being muddled with a laceration to another patient’s hand and popping in and out of their exam room to get suturing supplies for the nurse doing that put-back-together job.
As the months sped by I was so utterly amazed at the joy and praise that flowed from Mary Kay’s communication. Very difficult days. Yet her focus was fixed on the Lord and that is where her strength came from. Roger was so blessed by her faithfulness through all he went through. As that inoperable mass and the high doses of steroids took their toll, there was no lack of love and strength from Mary Kay and their three daughters and the larger community of faith. And then the battle was over for Roger.
Even though my mind comprehended his death, my memory still remembered where I had last seen them both.
It was such a precious gift of time to reset the memory this July, on a hot summer morning in Chattanooga, TN. Mary Kay and one of their daughter’s (Hannah) were on quite the road trip from Iowa to Florida and they wanted to stop and see me. Our meeting spot was this delightful retro tea house. The setting couldn’t have been more ideal for creating a new memory. Pages of tea choices. A delicious shared vegan scone (we weren’t hungry). A fresh fun atmosphere with inviting spaces to fellowship. How we reminisced and caught up and looked ahead for several hours. All the while, remembering Roger, remembering Papua, remembering many more shared memories, remembering Jesus in ALL of it and believing He is LEADING in all of it.
We walked across to the famous Chattanooga Choo Choo station. And then we said good-bye.
But now in my heart I will always remember Mary Kay at the Wildflower Tea house in Chattanooga, TN. And I will always see her in my dyslexic son, whom she gifted with the skills he needed in order to thrive not survive. And my heart will always remember Mary Kay’s example of rejoicing and praising even in the hardest of times. Forever grateful for the gift of friendship and the chance to reconnect and make a precious new memory.
I love you Mary Kay.
P.S. In case you lost your scone tips they are:
A very hot oven. Handle the dough as little as possible. Vegan is possible, real butter and milk help increase the authenticity.
Ruth’s English Scones (that I was raised on…..thanks Mom, comfort food)
¼ cup of softened butter rubbed into 3 cups of white flour. Then mix in ½ tsp of salt and ¼ cup of sugar along with 2 tsp of baking powder. Can add any assortment of raisins, nuts, or chocolate chips at this point (under ½ a cup total). Add milk 1 and a ¼ cup. Dough should all stick together nicely and not be to wet and not to dry. (I do all of this in my kitchen aid and if I need to add more flour just slowly do so).
Another fun scone recipe is this: starbucks pumpkin scone
Mary Kay’s favorite new verse is : “Wait on the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait on the Lord.” Psalm 27:14 and a gem she just discovered from Billy Graham says, “Patience is an attitude of expectation.”
Mary Kay I can only imagine the beautiful plans the Lord has in store for you and how He wants to use you to encourage His children. In. His. Perfect. Time.