At the end of each day, I try to think of something that happened that day that made me happy or gave me joy. Many days, I must admit, it’s a struggle. Sometimes nothing out of the ordinary happens, or maybe I just had a bad day. But today, my heart was filled with sunshine because of something that was said to me after church.
The choir director saught me out to tell me that on his music for the anthem today, he had made a note, many years ago, that the first flute accompanist for this anthem was Kara Hiland. Why he made that note, I don’t know. Maybe he did that when any of his young music students performed with the choir. But his telling me that filled my heart with joy.
I am a member of Stonybrook Church, and have been for the past year or so, after about a 10-year leave of absence. I had quit attending church there, in favor of attending a church that was within walking distance of my house. I love walking to church. But I never really felt that the people of that church embraced me as a member. They tried to be nice, but I just didn’t fit in. Still, for 10 years, I tried to make it work, because I loved being able to walk to church.
Then that church began to fall apart, and I thought it was the right time to return to Stonybrook. Besides, being able to walk to church is not a good reason to continue to go where you don’t feel comfortable.
The moment I returned to Stonybrook, however, I felt like I had come home. Back when my family was young, Kara was the most active of us all. Youth group, church camp, choir, and the Appalachia Service Project played a huge part in her life. Even after participating as a student, she returned as an adult counselor. Although I was very proud of her, a part of me felt like I wasn’t much use to the church, better known as Kara’s mother. So when Kara went off and started her family in another part of the country, I felt a little lost at Stonybrook. So I went away, and now that I’m back, I’m finding that I actually enjoy being known as Kara’s mother. She was my connection to Stonybrook back then, and now, the memory of her is my connection. It feels good to not only be proud of my daughter, but also for her church family at Stonybrook to keep her in their hearts.