Sunday, July 02, 2017

Millie Moments

My first post of the current year in January was a modified edition of my newspaper column article of the same week, titled "The Millie Way." It featured Millie, a remarkable lady in her late nineties. This contented soul lives alone in the thick of a rural wooded area with only basic amenities, yet faces life day by day with confidence and faith.

Cottage among trees, but not Millie's
Google free image
I’d heard much about her, but she and I hadn’t actually met. Now that has changed. And so, with Canada Day behind us on this 150th Birthday year I’ll share  these “Millie Moments” with you now that we’ve stepped into the second half of this signal year. Canada was fifty-two years young when she made her appearance.

My much anticipated meeting with her finally came several weeks ago. It was a quiet affair; just she and I in that humble, though embracing, abode that is itself embraced by the towering friendship and protection of the surrounding family of trees.

[Not Millie's Peach] freeimage.
Oh, but I mustn’t forget Millie’s constant companion, Peach – her beautiful orange cat. This seasoned creature in cat years is more than equal to this lady’s own great age of almost ninety-nine. Peach stole over and checked me out – quite amicably, I thought – then ambled off to the comfortable familiarity of Millie’s lap where she purred away contentedly.

And so what did Millie and I do? What did we talk about? First of all was a little bit of fact-checking, since up to this point all my information about her was second-hand and had depended on the reliability of that information but more so on my memory – which, these days all too often lets me down.

I’d written that her son checks in on her from time to time. However, I learned that her son and daughter and her husband had all passed away. I learned, in fact, that it is a nephew living within a short drive who calls by. Other extended family members also do, on occasion. They ensure she has necessary supplies.

Her sight isn’t sharp enough now to read, and so I read that article to her. Since her hearing isn’t quite as acute as it used to be I spoke up and enunciated the words. She listened intently, and graciously accepted my humble efforts to encapsulate and present elements of her story, and she seemed unperturbed by her life’s being opened up to you and others, in this way. 

Millie knows God as a daily reality in her life. She’s no stranger to serious illness, and surgeries have come her way, while currently facial cancers present a concern. However, despite hardships and though bereaved of her nearest and dearest, she continues to trust Him. As I sat in her presence I felt blessed by a gentle serenity.

Before leaving, I read several verses from her Bible, gently took her hand in mine and prayed briefly. Was there anything I could do for her before leaving? No, she was just fine. A parting greeting and a hug, then I was on my way driving down that winding path in the woods with heaven in my heart.

I mused:
If only the whole world could enjoy such treasured moments,
perhaps even wars might cease.

P.S. I have one regret: I hadn’t thought to take a snapshot or two during my visit.
A blessed, fulfilling and happy CANADA 150 to you!

Peter A. Black is a retired pastor  -  well, sort of  -  and lives in Southwestern Ontario. He writes a weekly inspirational newspaper column, P-Pep! and is author of Raise Your Gaze ... Mindful Musings of a Grateful Heart, and Parables from the Pond. ~~+~~


Susan Harris said...

Simply beautiful, as is the simple life of a woman who lives for eternity in the haven of the woods. Thoughts of Heaven are ever-present with me and this post bespoke the other life. Thanks Peter, and Happy Canada 150th.

Peter Black said...

Thank you Susan. Yes, situations in life and events near and far at times cause us to realise how ephemeral earthly, material things are and move us to reflect on the spiritual and eternal.
Happy Canada 150 to you too.
I trust you are enjoying health and wellbeing and pleasant summer weather, in your neck-o'-the-woods.~~+~~

Ruth Smith Meyer said...

What a lovely story! As life goes on and as loved ones leave for eternity, one has less needs for earthly things and we become more comfortable with thoughts of eternity. Bless you for sharing this visit with us.

Glynis said...

Peter, what a lovely story. What an amazing woman Millie sounds! And I am sure such a treasured experience for you to spend those moments with her - to remain etched in your heart and mind for a long time. I would find that such a fascinating visit. Her earthly independence combined with her spiritual dependence is such a beautiful harmonious place to be! Love it. Thanks for sharing (and caring).

Peter Black said...

Thank you, Ruth and Glynis. Quiet contentment and steadfast faith - that's Millie. Every blessing to you both. ~~+~~

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Looks like a quiet place tucked away. And she's contented there. That's good and I'm sure she appreciated your visit, Peter.

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