A very sweet woman from my church passed away last night. She was nearly 93 and had been attending Asbury for more than 50 years. She and her husband visited Israel on vacation int he 1970s and brought back a date as a gift for the church. Today, the palm looks like this:

Asbury UMC Community Garden

Asbury UMC Community Garden

I have to think the palm is very symbolic of Thelma’s life. Its bounty of dates (old photo; its limbs are heavy with golden fruit at the moment) will be shared with many.

She was kind beyond belief and would always give me a baby powder-scented hug. Without fail, she always wore pearls, a short gray bob and a large, sincere smile. We sang her happy birthday last year and as she stood next to me swaying back and forth and looking around at everyone, she finally leaned over to whisper, “Honey, I didn’t put my ears in this morning. What are we doing?” That was Thelma. Smiling first, asking questions second.

May God bless and keep you, sweet T.