TRIBUTE TO A MINISTER'S WIFE
As I resume my pulpit ministry today I cannot but be conscious of the empty chair in the choir loft where my dear wife was wont to sit. Mrs. Park's health was faltering these past months, but I am glad that our Glendale people did have a year to become acquainted with her and opportunity to appreciate some of the qualities which made her for forty years one of the finest ministers' wives ever to occupy a parsonage. Her talents were an invaluable supplement to my own and we worked as happy team-mates together. Choirs and Sunday Schools and Women's Organizations have profitted from the service she so gladly rendered. From all the Charges we have served in the Conference - Victoria Ave., Byron, Wesley-Willis, and Glendale, came floral tributes and a multitude of friends, and, of course, messages, expressing affection and regard. How I wish Aleta could have heard them, for she was beginning to feel lonely as failing strength was compelling her to spend more of her time in inactivity!
It was good for my daughter and for me to have with us for a few days my brothers, sister, the nephew, and the two cousins, who for varying periods (up to five years!) had been mothered by Mrs. Park in our home. And it was heartening beyond words to have our Glendale people proffer their instant sympathy and support in our hour of bitter loss. My thanks again to the officials who acted as pallbearers, and to the Session, the Stewards, the U.C.W., and the Choir for their floral tributes, and to individuals who made contributions to Christian Causes, and to the great company who visited the Funeral Parlour or sent expressions of condolence. My gratitude also to the Glendale Ladies who (in concert with Byron Ladies) prepared and served refreshments to the numerous relatives who returned to 310 Griffith St. after the funeral on August 22. The friendship of the Glendale people has been a vehicle of God's grace to me. The Christian Hope of a better world where our loved ones are at peace with God robs death of its sharpest sting; but this is God's world too, and I rejoice that it is still my privilege to serve Him here. So, heartened by a love which death cannot destroy, and the memory of an idyllic marriage, and strengthened by all that my wife taught me through the years, I face the future "breast forward", assured that "The best of all is, God is with us," and that "Some noble work for Him may yet be done."
Clifford G. Park