Reece Gardner: My Emma now rests beyond the sunset
At 3:10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, My Angel Emma squeezed my hand, gave me such a beautiful smile, then moved into Heaven. It was heart-wrenching, to say the least, and pretty close to being just too hard to bear. One big blessing in this time of sorrow has been the presence of our precious children, grandchildren, family, and wonderful friends, and the sure knowledge that it was God's wonderful guidance that took me to Emma.
It all happened 58 years ago when as a young single man I ventured to New York City in search of work in the theater. After several months of this effort, it became apparent that things weren't working out very well. I will never forget that June day as I drove down Times Square toward the Lincoln Tunnel on my way to exiting New York City. Prior to reaching the exit, I "happened" to spot a little cafe, and decided to spend a few minutes there. I approached the counter, ordered a cup of coffee, and "happened" to see The New York Post on the counter.
I opened the paper to the "Want Ad" section and there saw an ad for Office Manager for the nearby National Council of Protestant Episcopal Churches. Not pushed by time or circumstances, I went to this huge church complex, was escorted to the third floor, and interviewed by the manager of that floor. He told me to call back that afternoon and he would then let me know if I had been hired.
I really did not expect to be hired, especially on such short notice, but upon making the call I was informed that I had been hired and to come in the following morning. I went in that morning and was introduced to several of my soon- to-be co-workers on the Third Floor. It was then that a Mr. Rabbage called me into his office and said, "I want you to meet my secretary who is working with me during Summer break."
Folks, I will never forget that moment when the most beautiful girl in ALL THE WORLD walked out of that inner office and took my hand. This was my introduction to My Emma and really to LIFE. During all these wonderful 58 years with her, I have always known that it was God's miraculous blessings that made this happen. Emma has been EVERYTHING to me. There is NO WAY I can even begin to describe her precious love. Even though she is no longer physically present, she is and always will be with me ALWAYS with a presence stronger than words can describe.
I want to close now by directing these words to My Emma that I directed to her in my recent Thanksgiving Column, words from "Beyond The Sunset."
"Should you go first and I remain to walk the road alone, I'll live in Memory's Garden with happy days we've known. In Spring I'll wait for roses red, when fades the lilac's bloom, and in early Fall when golden leaves fall, I'll catch a glimpse of you.
“Should you go first and I remain for battles to be fought, each thing you've touched along the way will be a hallowed spot. I'll hear your voice, I'll see your smile, though blindly I may grope, the memory of your helping hand will fill my heart with hope.
“Beyond the sunset, oh blissful morning, when with our Savior, Heaven is begun, Earth's toiling ended, with Glory dawning, Beyond the Sunset, when day is done."
My Precious Emma, as I have said to you many times over the years, THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME.
Please be with me now and ALWAYS! I LOVE YOU!!