#LutheranChurchLady | Fargo Photographer Self Portrait

ABBY ANDERSON

#LutheranChurchLady | February Self Portrait

When we moved back to Fargo a couple years ago we had an army of help from our church friends.
In the middle of the moving hubbub, a little old lady named Helen dropped by with warm food for the hungry helpers.
It had perfectly diced little potato cubes and green peppers and ham, swimming in a cheese sauce that could make grown men cry.
It was bundled up in a deep bowl and an embroidered kitchen towel, and it tasted like love.
Helen passed away last week. Today we celebrated her life and served hotdish at her funeral.

Photographer Self PortraitShe asked me to play organ at her funeral, so I did.
I was also in charge of coordinating her funeral luncheon.
That’s right, folks. I’m a full fledged #lutheranchurchlady.
(I even learned how to use the intimidating 100 cup coffee maker. I carry that as a badge of honor)
As I was washing cake platters, I mentioned to a fellow kitchen worker that my nails are so thin.
They break ALL the time and it’s so annoying.
Do you know what she told me to do? Eat jello. Not even kidding.
She is easily 40 years older than me and her nails are perfect, gleaming specimens.
The secret? GELATIN.
Apparently there are a lot of Lutheran Church Lady Beauty Secrets.
We are a hearty stock, and we make a mean tater tot hotdish.
At the funeral today my dad preached from Isaiah 41:10 and said, “You’re never too young to stare death in the face.”
I had a chance to do that when I visited Helen in the nursing home less than two weeks ago.
She had tears in her eyes. She was tired, feeling at peace, thinking of her kids, very weak.
That will be me some day.
In staring at death, somehow you learn about life.
The smells of Folgers and a plate full of buttered white buns, pickles and Tater Tot Hotdish.
I think the only thing better are the moments when Isaiah 41:10 speaks into your life.

“Fear not, for I am with you.
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

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This is the continuation of my self-portrait series.
See other posts from the series here!

Comments

  1. Barbara Watson says:

    Your photo reminds me of all of the churches that I visit on road trips – the beautiful stained glass windows filled with strength and serenity, the person who knows who she is and follows her heart, and your words that tell the story of love, compassion, and hope so tenderly. I look forward to seeing and reading the rest of your series. Helen…..many of us have had people like her come into our lives….and her examples of kindness and neighborliness mean so much. Thank you! PS – My own mother’s name was Helen….and that is what first caught my eye to read on!

  2. Barbara Watson says:

    Your photo reminds me of all of the churches that I visit on road trips – the beautiful stain glass windows filled with strength and serenity, the person who knows who she is and follows her heart, and the writings that tell the story of love, compassion, and hope so tenderly. I look forward to seeing and reading the rest of your series. Helen…..many of us have had people like thatcome into our lives….and their examples of kindness and neighborliness mean so much. Thank you! PS – My own mother’s name was Helen….and that is what first caught my eye to read on!

  3. Pam 'Larson' Twedt says:

    Brought tears to my eyes and down my cheeks. Thanks for your tribute to Helen via words, deeds and music.

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