Mable Vandgrift is 97 years old, and along with Alma Montgomery who is 104, she is one of our oldest parishioners. I have the honor of visiting with Mable about 2 times a month as we take her Communion. As is often the case in visiting with homebound, I am the one who feels more enriched by the visit than I believe she does, as she will share with me story after story of her inspiring and holy life.
One of the stories that she told me in my last visit was when she told her father that she was going to get married. Mable was the youngest of her three siblings, and she was the only daughter. Her father and mother had separated when she was a little girl. As she was growing up her father took exceptional care of her and she was the “apple of his eye.” So when her fiancé asked for Mable’s hand in marriage, her father wasn’t happy about it because they were so close to each other. I asked Mable, “What happened? Did you marry him?” She said, “Yes, we eloped to Cannelton, IN!”
Another one of the joys about visiting Mable is that she is a musician. She plays the harmonica, the guitar and she sings. Her age is affecting her ability to play the guitar, but she will still pull out the harmonica and play a tune if you ask. In our last visit we talked about the beginning of Lent and how Jesus took up a cross and carried it for our sins. So together we sang the “Old Rugged Cross” and we filled her kitchen with music. After we sang she smiled and said, “Thank you.”
Fr. Carl McCarthy