Ida Died in February

I was reading a passage from James Joyce novel Dubliners in which he wrote of snow falling on a cemetery.  It made me think of Ida who had been a first-grade teacher at Immanuel School in Marshfield.  She was Sarah’s teacher. It must have been about 1982 when she was diagnosed with cancer and had to resign her position.

She was a shy person who when it was her turn to lead staff devotions, she recorded them the night before and played her recording for us the next morning.  Ida had never married.

We were in Peoria, Il. for a basketball tournament the weekend she died.  We had left Marshfield’s high snow banks which had led some to put orange balls on their car antennas so they would be visible.  The temperature rose into the 70’s in Peoria that weekend, which was a welcome two-day respite from winter in central Wisconsin.

When we learned of Ida’s death our group wanted to have our own Sunday morning service to remember her and her service to our school.  Her funeral service was later that week at a Wisconsin Synod congregation out in the country.  The pastor mentioned her service to their congregation, but never mentioned her work in an LCMS congregation.

As we drove away after the committal that afternoon, Sarah looked at Ida’s casket sitting out in the snow-covered cemetery.  Our 6-year-old youngest said, “Won’t she get cold?’  I’m not sure what Becky and I answered, but I always remember Sarah’s question.   

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