Monday, May 11, 2009

In Memory of Elaine Butterfield

Early on she was just the lady that sat next to me in church, that is, after I staked my claim to a particular seat in a particular pew. She had several mannerisms and "ticks" that were at first somewhat distracting. She made this sound with her mouth – kind of the tongue rubbing against the teeth sound (not sure how to describe it and if forced to spell the sound, I would probable go with this, "tcha", though that really doesn't do the sound justice). I made the assumption it was either a nervous tick, a denture wearer's lament, or some combination.

In time, as I got to know Elaine, her mannerisms became less of a distraction and more just a part of her identity though far less important than who she really was. The only time I ever spent with Elaine was in church; chatting a bit before the service and sharing worship together during the service. On rare occasions, Elaine came to fellowship hour but more often opted to head back home while traffic was still soft. Driving into her 80's got a bit more difficult and it was just easier for her to get though her day if she planned it accordingly.

Elaine has a rich history in our church having been a parishioner for nearly 60 years and spoke many times of how her husband "helped build this church". She would often have her knitting with her, just in case.

Elaine passed away last Tuesday at the age of 88. I was deeply saddened to hear of her loss late and was unable to pay my respects in person. This Sunday, I looked over at the empty seat next to mine and then looked up – I think she knew how much I liked her.

Rest in piece Elaine Butterfield.

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