All will be right
Tuesday December 05th 2023, 10:38 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Life

Our friend Jim was back in town (flashback here from when his young son fell 30′ off a ski lift–and lived and recovered) and he was playing the organ in a concert at the creche exhibit.

Two of the pieces were composed by Mary Finlayson, including her All Will Be Right. It is one of my favorite Christmas songs. A children’s chorus performed it. It was perfect.

My parents, who lived in Maryland at the time, went on a trip to Israel when Mom retired and that’s where they met Mary and Norris, who were taking the same tour. Just adding that aside for my mom here.

Mary had been an avid knitter but with aging had felt she just couldn’t manage it anymore, and she asked me once if I’d like her old Barbara Walker stitch treasuries. I of course had my own, but my oldest had started knitting and she would love. We’re a half hour’s drive away and I offered to come pick them up; she instead wanted to bring them to me.

The morning she called to ask if this was a good day to come on by, I… I knew enough about infirmities to think, if you’re having a good enough day to feel up to doing that then this is going to be the day to do that. I didn’t tell her.

But when she arrived, she felt it. And so I explained: we had gotten the call that morning that my mother-in-law in Texas had just died.

(Michelle was with us and the three of us had just

how does one confine the infinite into the smallness of human-created words

we just needed

to Be.

Together. Close. In stillness.)

In the heart of the sacredness of the love we felt surrounded by. Mom Hyde had been through so much with her cancer and now it felt like she wanted us to feel the joy on the other side of all that.

In ringing the startlingly ordinary doorbell and stepping into the room with us, Mary brought her own love and of herself in the effort she had made to bring those books and to help a new generation create more love with their hands and somehow Mary, by her grace and her empathy, made that morning complete in a way I don’t quite know how to explain. But it was good that she had come. I will never forget it.

A dozen years later, she and Norris were sitting behind us tonight as Jim played, and they are going for Rosalynn and Jimmy’s record. Family surrounded them. She was praised and thanked by the various performers coming up and joining Jim, and then at the end when the audience was clapping hard for him, he walked down from the podium to be level with Mary, holding his hand out her way with every step and inviting the audience to turn their clapping to her.

And did we ever. Standing up for it was a bit much for her so we all followed her lead and stayed sitting, too, but applause we could do. Such a good woman who has put so much love into the world, and her husband is right up there with her.

She and Norris were in tears. So were their kids and grandkids (I think there were some great grands in the mix), and man. It felt so good to be able to give back a little.

4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

You have some wonderful memories there. Sounds like quite a performance and a great woman.

Comment by DebbieR 12.06.23 @ 10:36 am

What a lovely memory to add to the others!

Comment by ccr in MA 12.06.23 @ 1:42 pm

Do you mean Norris Finlayson ? We love Mary and Norris Finlayson !!!

Comment by Fran Young 12.06.23 @ 3:08 pm

Updated: sorry about the brain blip–lots of Neils around here. Of course it was Norris! Thank you, Fran!

Comment by AlisonH 12.06.23 @ 3:42 pm

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>