My Turkey, a Funeral, and Family Day
My turkey, a funeral and Family Day – can you tell me how to work that into a good title? Nothing profound is coming to me. So maybe that’s what it will be.
Back before Christmas, the No Frills store, where I like to get my groceries, had small turkeys on for .95/lb. I really like turkey meat, especially cold, so at that price I decided to buy a second one for sometime between Christmas and Easter. Last week I decided that it was time to roast it.
But then I learned about the death and funeral for my dear prayer warrior friend, Anne Baerg’s sister Betty. It was to take place on Saturday in Martensville, about 20 minutes north of Saskatoon. I wanted to be there for Anne, as she was very close to this sister, and I supposed I could sacrifice my intended afternoon to clean up in my basement, while the turkey roasted in the oven.
Thinking it over, I decided to roast my little turkey on Friday so that I didn’t have to fret about it at the funeral, and wouldn’t have to rush to change clothes before I pulled it out to de-bone, etc. That worked quite well. I was able to get it ready on my Friday lunch time, and it was done when I usually stop for supper at 5 pm. I now have turkey meat and stock for at least as week.
I arrived a little early for the funeral (allowing time in case I got lost looking for the church address, which was not necessary), and at first I thought, “Am I the only one from our church here to support Anne?” But then I saw George and Louise sit down on the other side of the sanctuary, and a bit later, Audrey and Linda a couple of pews ahead of them.
Meantime, my cousin-uncle, Dave Guenther, came to sit down in my short pew. (Mom’s cousin). I asked him how come he had a cane? He told me that he broke his hip in November. I asked about his wife Rose, who I knew, had had Alzheimer’s for a number of years, but she usually came along with him, smiling at everyone, though she didn’t remember our names. Dave said he had to put her in the nursing home in Warman.
Dave told me that he and this Betty Fisher, the decreased woman, usually sat in this pew, and that she often phoned him during the week to ask about Rose, as she liked to keep her prayer lists current. My first thought was, “Wow! Just like her sister Anne, who bustles about before and after a church service to check on people she is praying for, and when I’ve given her a ride, she always reminds me before she gets out at her apartment door, that she is praying for me. If we don’t actually get to hug and check with each other on a few Sundays, Anne will phone me up to ask for an update on my needs and prayer requests. You just have to love prayer warriors like that!
When the family filed in, I saw that Anne walked in at the front on the arm of her niece, Kathleen. I was glad to see she was honoured by the family, for she is now the last one left of all the 8 siblings in that Friesen Family. (No, I have not been able to prove we are related).
In everything I heard about Betty Fisher during the funeral I saw an echo of Anne’s precious, godly personality. No wonder Anne had been so concerned about Betty as she lay dying the last few weeks in the Palliative care ward of St. Paul’s Hospital.
I was also surprised to discover that Claire Ewart Fisher, who was the Director of MCC Sask when I was doing that year of reports on our MHSS website about their 12 months of celebrations for their 50th anniversary in 2014. Claire is the wife of one of Betty’s sons, and she and her husband are co-pastors at Mount Royal Mennonite Church here in Saskatoon. I had never heard Claire preach before, (I just knew her as a very good administrator), but she presented the funeral message and did a superb job of it!
When we came out into the foyer after the funeral service, I was pleased to discover that there were a number of other people from our church who had come to be a support to Anne. That’s including one tall young man and his wife of just a year or two, whom I think Anne has prayed for all his growing up years.
The reception/lunch was down in the basement and that room was not acoustically suited to having dozens and dozens of conversations going on at the same time. It was hard to hear! But I met a few people I had not seen in years, talked with them, and also stood in the lineup of people all wanting to express sympathy to Anne Baerg.
When I got home I was tired enough to want to curl up in the recliner a while. (I wonder how close I’m getting to the time when I will allow people to address me as Ye and Thee; Sorry, that’s an old Mennonite joke).
Anyway, good thing I’d cooked the turkey the day before.
Then on Sunday I was reminded that Monday was our provincial holiday, called Family Day. School is even out for the whole week so families can go on vacations or do fun activities together.
So I decided to make a turkey casserole in the crockpot yesterday, and took it to my brother Tom’s for supper. I brought along some slices of bread spread with garlic butter, wrapped in foil, (heated in his oven) and we had that with the casserole, right out of the crock. I also steamed a couple of apples on his stove for dessert. It was an easy, no fuss no muss supper, and Tom was happy to have me put the leftovers into his fridge.
Tom is not a reader, but he gets these Christian books in the mail, so when I come, he naturally hands me a bunch. I figure that’s a good enough trade for the supper. I just put them in the bathroom, and in a few weeks, I’ve read them all. It does not steal any time from my work schedule at all.