Funny thing, just today I heard you died
two letters with Christmas cards ago
before your nephew’s note arrived
with an obituary that said
you had been ninety-nine,
born in the Himalayan foothills,
the daughter of American missionaries.
I knew you when I was a young bride
missing parents and family in empty pews
and you a church secretary filling in
at the rainbow-riven altar
midst the angel-crowded choir,
a bridesmaid though we had never met
caught in the sacred threads of the moment.
Over the years we wrote, both eager,
you sent pictures of Buffy your poodle,
me of my children, faith-glimpses,
the vagaries of life under heaven’s gaze
until your frail hands could no longer write
but I still sent news like a daughter
to another mother far away.
On this road home we met once at a crossroads
to tell a tale of what it means even here
when two daughters of a king meet
at His command as a family should
at a wedding, once long ago & one to be,
soon at the birth of the new creation.
Revelation 19: 6-9 (NASB)
Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”