She knew every responsive reading by memory, every hymn, once I asked her if she knew his sermons by memory, she said he’d never given the same sermon twice. I was amazed that she knew all these things, it would be a game for me. She would pull the old hymn book from the rack attached to back of the pew in front of us, rest it on the pew and open to the proper pages. I would wait for the readings or music to begin and then grab the book away from her. She would continue on by memory after that. On one specific Sunday morning, as I reached up to grab the hymn book, she had a certain grip, she was reading the words, a different expression. She was actually reading the words, concentrating almost if you will. “Hunh?” I was stumped as I thought she knew all of them. As I looked up again, I would see tears pooling up in the wells of her eyes and then slowly fall down he beautiful face. Memory doesn’t let me remember if she wiped them off or let them roll off her. The mystery was beautiful yet filled me with a sadness. Reaching out, I grabbed a fist full of her dress skirt and held tight as we stood there through the remaining of the song. Later I’d bring it up to her and she told me that it was her mother’s favorite hymn. My mother loved flowers and in her that day, I now understand the flower Chrysanthemum. A flower large as life with a broad beauty formed by many tiny petals creating a pattern of mystery and held up by this thick straight stem. What we often overlook is that the stem, though looking strong and wide, is fragile. I saw her fragile that morning. But do not confuse fragile with weak. She stood strong and to this day, stands as strong in my memory. Have thine own way Lord, have thine own way, you are the potter…I am the clay.