An angel in my hour of need
A short while ago, I took a trip to Idaho and Utah to see the kids. I was overjoyed to visit 12 of my 20 grandchildren. It was wonderful.
Truthfully, once-a-year visits with grandkids are just not enough. They are growing at a phenomenal rate.
Anyway, during this trip I was able to visit Georganna, a friend from 40 years ago.
When I met Georgiana, our young family was living in California. The year was 1976 and a very difficult time in my life. I had a husband who traveled nine months of the year. My closest family member lived a thousand miles away.
I had a 10-month-old son, Jared, and I was expecting twin girls. Sadly, I went into labor with the twins and was admitted to the hospital. I was only 23 weeks along in the pregnancy.
It was at this time I met Georganna. She was the leader of our church’s women’s organization, called the Relief Society.
After Georganna came to the hospital to see me, she organized the Relief Society women to help. We call these women sisters.
The sisters immediately assisted in the care of 10-month-old Jared, critically ill mom (me), and the needs of our home.
Every church has a women’s organization that does amazing things.
There is the United Methodist Women, one of the largest denominational faith organizations for women, with approximately 800,000 members. It says it seeks to be "a community of women whose purpose is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative, supportive fellowship; and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church.”
Then we have the Lutheran Women's Missionary League, a leading group for women, whose focus is to “joyfully proclaim Christ, support missions, and equip women to honor God by serving others.”
The Catholic Daughters of the Americas, founded in 1903, is one of the largest women's organizations in the Americas. It is a charitable organization of Catholic lay and religious women who “embrace the principle of faith working through love in the promotion of justice, equality and the advancement of human rights and human dignity for all.”
The women’s organization in my church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is called the Relief Society. It was founded in 1842.
The Relief Society’s purpose is to help prepare women for the blessings of eternal life, strengthen individuals and families, and work in unity to help those in need.
Their motto is "Charity never faileth."
Years ago, under Georganna’s leadership, the Relief Society brought in meals, cleaned my home and saw to my spiritual needs.
Georganna was our Relief Society president. She was also the wife of a successful OB-GYN and mother of seven children.
It had been over 40 years since seeing Georganna. Her husband had passed, and she moved to Idaho, closer to three of her children.
She lived in a small house, a few miles from my Idaho daughter Ashley. When I walked in the door, there sat Georganna, the angel who served me during the greatest need in my life.
Georganna’s smile was the same. Her sweetness radiated in the room. There she was, caring compassionate 88-year-old Georganna.
Oh, the memories of her service flooded from my heart. She had carried me and my family.
Georganna was close by when I delivered our one- and two-pound twins. She stood by me at the funeral of one.
She was on hand to take Jared for three months as I tended to surviving twin, Kelsey. After Kelsey’s discharge, she assisted me with her overwhelming medical care.
She continued to lead the sisters in caring for my babies when I couldn’t.
Georganna and I sat and talked for two hours. It was emotional, uplifting and gratifying. I cry as I write this.
I had taken the time from my grandchildren to visit her. But it was worth every minute.
Georganna, who had given me the support, which I needed to handle the future care of a disabled child of 45 was doing it once again.
Sisters, we are blessed with a great capacity as women. It was hard to say goodbye.
When your heart tells you to visit someone, do it.
Georganna passed away this past Sunday. I am a witness to another angel in heaven.
I love you, Georganna.
Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County's Family Week Foundation. Email her at Director@jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.