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Look carefully...at the seemingly small moments...in the constant shaping of souls.- Neal A.Maxwell

Open Mic Night

Out for a walk this evening I heard music coming from the art center.  Coming closer I learned that every Saturday from 8-11pm is open mic night.  Intrigued I went in for a listen.  Put your name on the white board and you get 2 songs or 10 minutes.  Adam played guitar and sang two originals in a beautiful, clear tenor.  Austin relayed a funny story and then played guitar and sang two of his originals.  He played guitar really well and the songs were downright happy.  Trevor is going through a divorce - he played guitar and sang a song he wrote that expressed his loneliness.  Trevor then sang "Impossible Dream" to a soundtrack.  Nathan was next.  It was his first time there.  He played guitar and sang two of his originals.  He was a hit, I bet they hope he comes back.  Jami was next.  Unaccompanied she sang two songs in a strong, clear voice.  "American Idol" was suggested by some audience members.  Then came Anna.  Anna requested that Jami join her.  Anna mumbled, "I don't sing very well."  "Yes you do," Jami softly replied.  Anna and Jami started singing - clear and sweet.  Anna faltered once or twice - Jami held strong and Anna pulled through.  When the song ended Jami ruffled Anna's hair and sat down.  Anna picked up a guitar and said she would sing her next song alone.  I wanted to stay and hear more but...

My husband was away on a business trip.  Mom had fallen and was not doing well.  I wanted to be in Utah to help Dad with Mom but I did not want to leave the boys while their father was away.  I called mom's hospice nurse and told her that if possible I wanted to spend a week with mom before she passed away.  The nurse said that mom was stable but that she would call me every day with a status report.  Every day the nurse called.  Every day friends offered to help with the boys if needed.  Thursday before last I missed the nurse's call.  Her uncertain message on the answering machine, "I think you can wait until Saturday,"  made me decide it was time to go, now.  I went to the boys' schools, told them good-bye and started driving.  That evening a friend brought the boys a feast of a meal: lasagna, french bread, salad, a fruit plate and a carton of ice-cream.

I arrived at my parent's late Friday morning.  Mom was asleep.  I held her hand and talked with her but she did not wake up.  A short while later the hospice nurse came.  Mom woke for the nurse.  When mom saw me her eyes opened wide, her mouth made an "O" of surprise and then she smiled.  Mom's expression was all I hoped for.  The nurses news was not good.  Mom's oxygen was down, she might not have a week left.  I called my brothers.  K arrived Saturday evening.  Dad, K and I took turns attending to mom through the night.  G arrived Sunday morning.  I played piano while the men talked in mom's room.  I was playing hymns and then started playing children's hymns.  When I got to Love is Spoken Here, by Janice Kapp Perry, I decided to sing it to my mother instead of playing.  I stood by her bedside softly singing, "I see my mother kneeling with her family each day.  I hear the words she whispers as she bows her head to pray.  Her plea to the father quiets all my fears, and I am thankful love is spoken here."  She passed away minutes later.

Throughout mom's illness dad gave loving care and support, as did neighbors, friends, church-members and hospice workers.  My husband and kids supported my frequent trips and many days away, as did neighbors, friends and church-members.  Since mom's passing that loving care and support has continued.  Today dad and I bade farewell to family members that needed to head back home.  I am fortunate to be able to stay another week.  I told dad I needed the exercise and would walk his utility bill to the city offices.  That is when I heard the music coming from the art center and expericenced the audience supporting artists and Jami supporting Anna.  I would have liked to hear more but where I really wanted to be was home, with dad. 

Seeking and Seeing

Last week I watched "Expelled".  In the movie Ben Stein asks an author of a book that promotes athiesm what he would do if when he dies he learns that there is a God and God asks him why he tried so hard to lead people away from Him.  The author answered that he would ask God why he remained so hidden.

Later in the same week I read this quote:     "It is part of the gift of charity to be able to recognize the Lord’s hand and feel His love in all that surrounds us. At times it will not be easy to discover the Lord’s love for us in all that we experience, because He is a perfect, anonymous giver. You will search all your life to uncover His hand and the gifts He has bestowed upon you because of His intimate, modest, humble way of granting such wonderful gifts." (May 2002 Ensign, "Charity: Perfect and Everlasting Love" by Gene R. Cook)

Three days ago, at random, I read  Matthew 7:     7)Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:   8) For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.   9) Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?   10) Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?   11) If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

There are many things I do not understand and undoubtably many "anonymous" gifts I have yet to recognize.  I am grateful however that God is not hiding and that His hand can be seen daily if I choose to ask and seek.

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