The following is a free chapter from the book that was born on this blog, Sunday Lessons and Activities for Kids. Click here to learn more about how this blog became a book. Although this story is not about my own mother, I share it here in memory of my mother who passed away yesterday.
The low undertone of children’s chatter continued unabated as the woman stepped to the podium, punctuated by an occasional baby’s wail and parents’ “shh . . .”. Flipping her long brown hair over her shoulder with a practiced nod, she gripped the podium with both hands to steady herself, and began to speak.
“Many of you know my elderly mom has been getting weaker and weaker. We knew she couldn’t last much longer. Well, I got the call on Friday night that I’d better get to the hospital – it wouldn’t be long.” The woman’s soft dark eyes scanned the audience, as if she was gathering strength to continue.
“I rushed into her hospital room to see her lying there, perfectly still, her chest barely moving with each shallow breath. I took her hand and talked to her. She just kept lying there breathing in and out, but I know she heard me. I just know.”
The daughter took a deep breath and went on. “I said the things I needed for her to hear. When there was nothing left to say, I started singing. I wanted her to hear my voice, to know I was there.” The woman stopped to clear her throat, adjusted the microphone for no reason, and continued in a steady monotone.
“I started with ‘I am a Child of God,’ then sang through every Primary song I knew as the tunes and words came into my mind one by one. Then I started over with ‘I am a Child of God’ again. When I came to the last line, ‘to live with Him someday,” I thought ‘Someday? Maybe today.’ I kept singing softly until Mom slipped away, less than an hour after I arrived.”
She paused a moment to collect herself. “I know she’s at peace now, with God. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” She grabbed a tissue and went back to her seat.
I thought of the blessings that come from simple Primary songs for children of all ages, throughout their lives. As an elderly child of God lay quietly that day, her own voice spent, her daughter became her voice, asking God to “lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way.” This time, the way was completely uncharted: the way to the other side, to “live with Him someday.” At that moment, this beloved Primary song reminded this elderly child of God that she was simply going home.
Check out the rest of the book, with ready-to-use ideas for channeling boundless energy, teaching about ideal families to children who live in other-than-ideal families, staffing challenges, bullying, children’s music for a lifetime, kids with special needs, building a celestial nursery, pint-sized service projects, and behavior management. And you’ll find some of the best children’s lesson enhancements and activities of all time. Available on Amazon.com, DeseretBook.com and wherever LDS books are sold.