My mother passed away September 4, 2007. Though a traumatic experience, her body had just given out. (I showcase a few photos here of this beautiful woman throughout her life.)
The Sunday following her death I decided I needed to attend Mass, though it would be very difficult.
The closing hymn turned out to be A Closer Walk with Thee. Having come from a protestant background, I quickly recognized the hymn. The choir leader had given everyone in the pews the refrain, suggesting we at least try to sing along, since it wasn’t in our hymnal. In all the time I have attended this Catholic church, this was a first for using a hymn with no hymnal reference.
I was the only parishioner who sang along with the choir throughout every verse and every word. I cried throughout the song. You see, it was my mother’s favorite hymn, and the Masses throughout the weekend had been dedicated to her.
After the Mass was over, I dried my tears, and as others were leaving, I went to our wonderfully talented pianist, who always plays at this particular Mass. I asked her who had chosen that hymn. She said she plays for a lot of protestant funerals and for some reason thought it would be a good hymn to use that day.
I gave her the biggest hug and told her the story through more tears, gratefully thanking her. Then I thanked God for laying this idea on her heart just for me!
In memory of Letha Hockensmith, nee Chambers. From top to bottom, photos of my lovely mother who was beautiful until the end. They are: in her 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, her 80th birthday, and shortly before her death at age 90. Thank you, readers, for allowing me to honor her on this page.