Sunday, March 21, 2010

Anne Dillon

Last Tuesday I found out that my dear friend Anne Dillon passed away from bone cancer. Anne was an incredible woman. This is how I met her:

I was serving my mission in Oregon and had just been transferred to downtown Portland with a new companion. We were taking over the area from the Elders so we didn't know anyone or anything about our area. Apparently, years ago the Elders had set up service opportunities once a week doing Meals-On-Wheels for a downtown apartment complex. Anne was in charge of making sure we did our job. Sister Johnson and I missed our first week and Anne filled in for us. We wrote her a thank you note and included a scripture from the Book of Mormon, citing the prophet King Benjamin for his words of truth about serving others. The next time we saw Anne she asked, "So, who is King Benjamin?"

We taught the gospel to her, helped her overcome her misconceptions, showed how the Atonement could help her be at peace with her past, and watched her joy and spiritual light increase as she internalized truth and hope and faith. There was more than one occasion when the impression came that Anne was very loved by and very, very special to Heavenly Father.

Sister Johnson and I were there for her beautiful baptism. Later, Josh and I were able to go to the temple with her. My mom had a chance to come up to Portland and meet her.

Anne has been loved as she served in the Relief Society presidency and participated in Family Home Afternoon with other branch sisters in her apartment building. Anne was also very good at loving others. She would tack pictures on the wall of her closest friends and missionaries. She had a love for Josh as soon as I married him. She treasured the scriptures given to her by my parents who she hadn't met yet. She loved her sons who had disowned her years ago. Anne loved giving. We enjoyed exchanging our favorite fruit teas with each other in letters.

Anne was an accomplished teacher and painter. She taught psychology at the University of Chicago. She sold one of her paintings to a card company. She had another picture published in a magazine.

I won't be able to forget Anne's deep and even-toned voice as she closed all of our phone calls, "I love you, Clarissa."

Last Thursday, through a heavenly tender mercy, I was able to register as a bone marrow donor. And I was able to do it in Anne's honor.

Anne will definitely be missed here but I know that there are others in the Spirit World who have eagerly anticipated her arrival.

Saint Patrick's Day

For our holiday dinner we were joined by the Heiners (Pam and Quinn), the Bergmanns (Clif, Nicole, and Jace), and the Kmetzschs (Cameron, Kate, and Peter). We had soup with cabbage and ham and potatoes, a chicken salad, garlic bread, cream soda, and a carrot/yellow 4-leaf clover cake. I won't even be modest, the cake was my brilliant creation--except for the hole that Clif poked into it.

But the night was made complete with our own local leprechaun. I would wear green everyday if this red-headed cutie could live at my house.

Valentine's Day

We had a blast with the Ensigns over Valentine's Day weekend. Saturday afternoon began with a lovely Italian dinner at our house. We had bruschetta, Caesar salad, and lasagna rolls with tofu. It was excellent! We listened to romantic French music on our record player. I was practically swooning over Josh all during our lunch. For dessert we went to Gloria's on Center Street and indulged in an amazing slice of cake. The experience was complete with a violinist serenading throughout the restaurant. Perfect! We laughed a lot, someone said something very embarrassing, and then we were able to laugh even more throughout the rest of the day. It was a great lunch.
After our dessert, the four of us went to the Provo temple for an endowment session. It was a great way to remember the promises we individually made to our Heavenly Father and to also reflect on the promises and blessings we were given when we were sealed together in the Atlanta temple.

We then went over to Grant and Jill's to paint portraits of our lovers. We watched the Olympics and secretly created our masterpieces. Josh went to the trouble of making a barrier with cereal boxes so I wouldn't see how the painting was turning out. I could tell it was going to be excellent because he made me do a lot of serious posing. (Check out the shading under my chin!) We successfully produced beautiful spouse portraits--and I must say I'm surprised they didn't have mad streaks across them from painting while we were watching intense speed skating races. It was such a fun way to spend the day of love with Grant and Jill!