Loverby and I went over to visit a friend who is on the downhill side of radiation and chemo. Ten more sessions. It was a slushy morning yesterday. I was starting to get cabin fever from being cooped up in the aftermath of a lovely snow storm. The melt hasn't been so lovely. When you're miserable, they say visit someone more miserable. We came to the wrong house. She wasn't. Miserable, that is.
Her old and worn Lutheran hymnal was lying open on the footstool by the couch where she spends most of her days. Alongside it was a box of well used recipes. Some were clipped from vintage magazines, others were hand written. A few were e-mail copies.
I thought of Elizabeth Elliot saying....the new choruses are fine, but it is the old hymns which best get us through the dark night.
We sat side by side on her couch and sang every old hymn we could recall. Acapella. They weren't perfectly pitched, and some ended on a different key than we started with. We kept a brisk tempo. A few brought tears. Two braced us with new courage. The writers, some from the 1700's had been in the smack dab middle of some sort of major troubles. We closed that old book feeling like we had just imbibed ..........comfort, straight, from comforters who knew precisely what they were talking about.
When we started going through the recipes, each one reminded us of someone, a gathering, or a time. Loverby sat by tasting and smelling every dish without gaining a pound. He stopped short of drooling.
I left with sensory loaded gifts, momentos tangible and intangible. Thanks my friend.