Monday, April 27, 2009

MoTab Memories

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming (the rest of Paris is coming!) to honor my mom who just retired from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They have a policy of retiring choir members after 20 years of service or after their 60th birthday, which ever comes first. On Sunday, April 26th my mom's service in the Choir ended and we got to share her special day.

Olivia wrote this sweet note to my mom, unprompted and unaided. She is so thoughtful and expressive.

The flowers at Temple Square were in full bloom and beautiful!

Grandpa Mike is an usher on Temple Square. He always says he is the Choir's biggest fan... and he was blessed to have a church assignment that let him be there each Sunday!

Kids have to be eight to stay in the Tabernacle, so Ryan sat with Coleman in the observation room. Aren't they handsome?

Our family took up almost a whole row... here are Steph, Liv, Katty, and David.

Lindsey, me, and Olivia... we had to wait quite a while for things to get started.

The Choir sounded beautiful for their 4,152nd historical broadcast. It's amazing that they have been around for so long.

After the broadcast President Monson came out and talked to the Choir members. He decided he wanted to play the organ and gave us all a nice little show!

Mack Wilberg (Choir Director) went through each retiring member (23 in all that day!) and recognized their family and friends and then read a "eulogy" written by the Choir member where they got to express their thoughts and feelings. Some were humorous and all were filled with humility and gratitude for the opportunity they'd had to sing with the Choir. The picture above shows my mom standing up during her turn and Mack said this about her, "Madeline, we thank you for your pleasant and genuine service these several years. You have done it with great sincerity and served in just the greatest way. We express our appreciation to you, our love, and we're going to miss you."

They each got a really neat engraved plaque and a photo op with Mack Wilberg, President Monson, Mac Christensen, and Lloyd Newell.

Then President Monson spoke...

...and finally they sang "God Be With You Til We Meet Again." I'm sure they were all in tears (I know I was!).

My mom told Olivia that as she was up there singing she thought that maybe some day Olivia could be in the Choir. Olivia said she had the very same feeling!

We never get to see their flowing angel dresses up close, so it was a real treat :). It was not lost on Olivia that her dress was the same color as Grandma's.

I'm so happy my mom has had the Choir in her life. For so many years she put everyone else's needs and wants before her own. It was wonderful when she was finally at a point in her life that she could live out one of her dreams. It required a lot of work and study and preparation, but she did it! My mom listed her two great accomplishments as her family (blending two families together) and being in the Choir. I know it was a great blessing for her to sing with the Choir and we were all blessed too (with all the Choir CDs for the last five years).

We ended the morning at Temple Square with a quick walk to see the Christus in the North Visitor's Center. After Sacrament Meeting in my mom's ward we had a fun family dinner. My sister Heather came from San Diego to be here (yay for Heather!) and we had a great time visiting with everyone.

I'm so proud of my mom and I know that great things lie ahead for her, because she's just that kind of person.


Linn said...

That was so very sweet! Your mom is amazing. I don't think she could ever realize how much I admire and love her. My mom talks about her constantly and I have such a deep respect for her. What a beautiful tribute!

Kristi said...

What a neat lady. It sounds like it was such a wonderful tribute for such a sweet person. I think it's great you all got to be there to support here.