The Spring of 2017 was relatively “unremarkable.” We were processing our move to Harrisville, but things went smoothly on that front. One memorable event came on Maundy Thursday. Jack Lofln, my first District Superintendent and father of my Millsaps and Elders Ordination classmate, Vicki Loflin Johnson, had his funeral that day. Lynette and I attended. The close of the service included the robed Conference clergy in attendance singing Jack’s favorite hymn, “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross.” I found myself unable to sing through my tears as the song was sung. Certainly, Jack had been important to me, but, in retrospect, I think there was an additional death I was grieving, though it hadn’t happened yet.
Lynette’s nephew, William Hargrove, graduated from Samford University on the second Saturday of May. The four of us traveled to Birmingham for the event. I got a chance the next day to make pilgrimage to 16th Street Baptist Church and to Kelly Ingram Park. Lynette, Sarah, and I looked forward to Sarah’s graduation from Millsaps the NEXT May. We all PLANNED to be there.
Annual Conference was a little strange, as Lynette was announced as being on Disability Leave, rather than under appointment. There WERE some happy events. Sarah Jo Adams-Wilson, who had been a high school youth in Lynette’s Petal Church, was ordained Elder. We got a chance to celebrate that milestone with her and her family. We looked forward to the expected Commissioning of Lynette’s sister Linda Little at Annual Conference 2018. My appointment to Harrisville was “fixed.”
Between Annual Conference and moving day, we traveled to Greenville for my 40th anniversary High School class reunion. It was VERY good to see that group of folks again AND to make “pilgrimage” to the building where so many pivotal events in my life happened from 1975-77. I also took Luke and Sarah to see the houses where I lived during my Greenville years (1971-81) and the church I attended. While we were in the Delta, we also went to Greenwood. Lynette showed the children the house she had lived in, her elementary school and the church where Lynette and I were married. We also had lunch at the Crystal Grill. I’m especially grateful that the four of us had THAT time together.
We endeavored to cull as much of our “stuff” as possible before our move to Harrisville. Nevertheless, we loaded the largest U-Haul Truck available as full as it would go, and found we still had stuff left over. Ultimately, three ever smaller trucks were necessary to complete our move. We also engaged a specialist to move our THREE pianos (Another long story)