Monday, September 7, 2009


Life is truly precious, don't get me wrong. But sometimes, grace intercedes and makes an angel. Another star in the sky, shining brightly, peacefully.

This is how I think of a very special woman in my life. M. Peeders, my piano teacher. I knew her for a relatively short period of time. It is not for me to question, but somehow she became special to me in a way that is hard to describe. It's like the gift of a teacher, but more. You know, a guide, someone you admire, and is with you as you try to learn new things. She was very quiet and gentle, but her strengths were mighty. Her deep faith was evident. She lacked fear. She was steady.

How do I know all this? I don't. But it is what I sensed, apparent in the spirit that she emitted, that she represented.

There was something about her. An aptitude, quiet confidence. Not showy, just there. Doing her tasks, going through her day. She was a doer. I'm not sure, but I'm guessing that she rarely said no when asked to help or get involved. But to me, she appeared quiet, gentle, mild. A workhorse, never calling attention to itself. Steady, confident, reliable. Someone you would and could call upon.

Again, it is not for me to question why, but in May, 2008, she learned she had breast cancer. It had already spread to her bones. And so she and her husband girded up for a battle, which was to be the battle of her life. I was so inspired by her deep faith, hope and courage, as she journaled on her CaringBridge site. She was vulnerable in her posts about how treatments were going, sharing her feelings in the ups and downs of an aggressive, vicious disease.

She had such grace through it all. Always with a word of hope. A special, uplifting Bible verse or favorite hymn. What strength, to share her journey, strengths and weaknesses, with others.

Earlier in her cancer journey, this was the verse that she claimed:
Isaiah 41:10 "Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will hold you in my right hand."

Later, in 2009, she claimed this passage, from an anthem that our high school choir performed. She was their accompanist:
"O Lord, you are my hiding place throughout the storms of life and you surround me with songs that set me free. You are my refuge, I will trust in you."

She loved her piano students, young musicians, with energy and promise. When she was going through her first round of bone radiation, she wrote about how much she enjoyed watching the video of their recital. To see her students play, witness their progress, made her proud --in that quiet way that she had.

Yes, she did lose her battle and on Thursday, September 3, she entered the joy of heaven. I feel glad that her suffering is over. But I miss her--

May her special gifts be carried on by those she loved and by those that she touched.


Kate said...

This was lovely. So sorry to hear this news. While I suppose it is for the best I'm sure you will feel lonely without her.