Friday, April 24, 2009

#37 Nevada

Name: Laralee
Ravelry name: Laralee
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Occupation: Catalog Librarian
In memory of Willa Ballard

I would like to include some excerpts from my last visit with Willa, the friend I knit in memory of.

Sunday, August 5, 2007
Today I had the opportunity to go with a number of my friends from church to visit a fellow sister who is only a few days or hours from death. Willa Ballard is one of my sisters in the Gospel who I visit teach. A convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of about 4-5 years, this tiny little sister was battling breast cancer at the time of her conversion. Everyone that met her was impressed with her great spirit and luminous smile.

For several years she had good health, but this year her cancer returned as well as a particularly fast acting form of lung cancer. It had been a month since I'd seen her, and her small body was wasted and she is unable to eat or drink and only somewhat aware of goings on around her. Even so, as we identified ourselves and expressed our love, we would see her beautiful smile.

When asked on Saturday what her happiness level was she said it was at a six. The thing she wanted that would raise her to a seven was to be at church. This wasn't possible so church came to her. We sang her favorite church hymns, Praise to the Man and Come, Come, Ye Saints and the sacrament was prepared for her by the Bishop and Ward Clerk, both her dear friends.

I may never see her again in this life, my friend Willa. But her impact on me is enduring. Strength, courage, beauty, and faith are but some of what I have learned from her.

Traveling Shawl

Traveling Shawl

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