Today’s favorite photo is filled with happy memories tinged with sadness. September 11, just three days ago, I went to the funeral of Barbara Coolman, a long time and dear friend. Back in the 1970s we both taught music in the same small, rural village in eastern Nebraska. She was the school choir director and I was the school band director.
At the funeral, several of Barb’s cherished belongings were sitting on a table, including this old, well worn hymnal. Barb and I attended the same church. She was one of the pianists at church and this was the hymnal our congregation used. It has since been replaced and is now known, thanks to its cover, as “the old gray hymnal”. Hymn 7, “Praise ye the Lord” by Isaac Watts, was one of our congregation’s favorites.
Our families spent time together and our young children played together. I changed jobs and my family moved to several states over the ensuing years. Her family ended up in Missouri. We kept in touch by cards and letters and every once in a rare while our families paths crossed.
When I saw this hymnal laying on the table I opened it up to Hymn 7 and took this picture as a remembrance.