We just recived word that a friend, Sarah Smith Mercuri, died earlier today. Sarah was one hundred years and eight months old (100 3/4 years.) Up to ther last days she remained one of the sweetest, dearest ladies I’ve ever known. Bright, alert and always cheerful, she was an inspiration up to the end for all who had the privilege of knowing and loving her and being a subject of her affection in return. She was the embodiment of a Christian, the epitome of all a Southern lady should be, and an example for all to follow
Linda and I first met Sarah when she was in her early nineties. We were spending several days in a place her daughter owned on the Inland Waterway on Topsail Island. She and Barbara stayed in the upstairs while we rented the bottom floor. From the screened in back porch where we sat safely out of reach of the droning mosquitoes and “no-see-ums” and watched fish and birds play and boats float by, the walkway in our backyard led to a pier out back, where we fished. Ever the delightful “Hostess,” Sarah often visited with us and we chatted. She told me she had wanted to fish, but had never learned how. So, I offered to teach her. Expert that I am! On her first cast, she got a bite, almost immediately, and excitedly reeled in her first catch. Honestly, she was as excited as any schoolgirl you ever saw going out on a first date! And, of course, she was immediately “hooked.” We spent a while together in the rain, that afternoon (that’s her in the yellow parka) and had many other enjoyable visits in the years that followed. Another thing I really liked about Sarah is that she once told me I make “great samwiches” when I had the honor of preparing lunch for the ladies.
To this hour, meeting her and teaching her the fine art of fishing remains one of my proudest accomplishments. . . and one of my fondest memories.
She was, indeed, as John Ruskin once described a friend: “The vanilla of life. She flavored everything.”
In saying a temporary farewell and offering a loving tribute to a cherished friend, I also request your prayers for the family whose grief is so great because the “Gift” was such a treasure. . . but whose sadness will surely turn to joy as they reflect on a life well lived and the promise of a glad reunion one day.
><> ><> ><> ><>
In my studying, I’m still considering Joshua’s orders (Joshua 1:9) received just before he “fit de battle of Jericho.” And, I’m also considering the amazing events of that first Resurrection morning. Hope you’ll “weigh in” with your insights and comments on either, or both, subjects.
Your friend, brother, fellow student and God’s servant, . . . and also the proud friend of Sarah Smith Mercuri