I grew up on a small farm in East Madison, Maine. My parents did not have any particular religion, but across the road from the farm there was an old church building where people of different denominations would come and hold various Sunday School classes and also Vacation Bible School. It was there that I learned about God and Jesus Christ and how He died on the cross to save men.

When I reached my teen years, I became interested in what the older boys and girls were doing and I didn't have any religious influences during this time in my life. I had a sense that worldly pleasures were wrong, but I gave in to the temptation to do what the crowd was doing even when I knew I shouldn't.

As I look back, I know that the Holy Spirit was faithful to show me when I was sinning. The first time I went to a place where there was drinking and dancing my heart told me people that did these things were not on their way to heaven.

George's family moved to East Madison a few years after mine. I knew at a young age that I wanted George to be my husband some day. The feeling was mutual in his heart, too. Later he told me he prayed to God that I would be his wife some day. Probably this was the only time he ever prayed to God until something happened in our married life almost twenty years later.

When I was eighteen and George was twenty we were married. For the most part we were settled down, but still there was the weekend drinking. Sometimes our friends came over to play cards. Sometimes we would go out dancing for entertainment. It seemed to me that most people were happy with what the world had to offer, so it would have been difficult to talk about religion with anyone.

The only time I can remember ever praying was once when I was about twenty-three years old and already had a daughter and two sons. I was having a physical problem and I asked God to take my pain away and at the same time I told Him that I would stop doing some things that I knew He did not like. He was faithful to help me in this time of need but I soon forgot about the things I promised Him.

When I became a mother, I found more things to worry about. I worried when my children were sick. Sometimes it would bother me because I couldn't tell them about God. I didn't even know about God myself so how could I tell them about Him?

In 1971 we had another son. For a while my attention was diverted to caring for him and I tried not to give in to worrying so much. I remember rocking my son and singing a little song that I had learned at Vacation Bible School. It went like this,

For God so loved the world
He gave His only Son
To die on Calvary's Tree,
From sin to set me free.
Some day He's coming back,
What glory that will be!
Wonderful His love to me.

Tears would flow down my face because I didn`t have the assurance that I was ready to meet Him.

In 1973 some Friends of Jesus Christ came to talk with us about the condition of our souls. One of them told me the shorts that I was wearing were immodest. I remember telling them that I had my standards and didn't think I was that immodest. Of course I was comparing myself with others in the world and not with standards of godliness.

The way I handled the visit from the Friends of Jesus Christ only shows that I was ignorant of my self-righteous attitudes, thinking I was better than other people. I could not see that degrees of sin did not matter. Either a person is saved or unsaved. I needed the new birth and grace to live a holy life. I had heard of salvation but not the new birth.

All of my worrying brought me into a nervous condition for about six years. In the spring of 1974 I went to see a doctor, thinking maybe I had a physical problem. The doctor couldn't find anything physically wrong, but said he could give me something to calm my nerves and help me sleep at night. I took the pills but wondered what would become of me if I had to take pills to live a normal life.

In the fall of 1974 something happened in George's life that brought him face to face with his drinking problem. He went to a barroom and someone put drugs into his drink. He went through a terrible time, but God used it to show George his sins. George saw that he needed help. He told me he knew who could help us. He said God could help us and asked me to pray with him.

After we prayed, I felt a power over us. I knew that if I would keep my heart open I would find what God wanted me to do. I had a premonition that my life would never be the same again, but I didn't know how it was going to change.

By the end of the same week that we had prayed to God for help, George wanted to go see the Friends of Jesus Christ who had visited us in 1973. They were surprised to see us but happy we had come. They invited us to meeting on Sunday. We said that we would go. As we stood in the doorway saying goodbye I saw the beauty of holiness resting upon the woman I was talking with. Outwardly she was dressed very plain in a long gray dress but what she had in her heart shone brightly.

I went to the meeting of the Friends of Jesus Christ, not knowing what I was going to do, but my heart was open for God to visit me and He did. There was some silent time in the beginning and I felt the presence of God near me. Silently to God I confessed I was sorry for my sins and that I had never served Him. Immediately I felt my burden was gone and heaven was my home. That was November 10, 1974.

George wanted to serve God, too. He never drank again or swore. He saw that the way God had led us to the Friends of Jesus Christ and to separate out from the world was the only thing that would keep him. He told me it was so. Yet he didn't give his whole heart to God at this time. He tried outwardly to please God, but it wasn't a total yielding inwardly in his heart.

George stopped coming to meeting after five years. By God's grace I was able to be a good Christian wife to George even though we didn't have true Christian fellowship. I had a promise from God that George would get saved. I had a vision of George and me holding hands and flying over green grassy hills. By this vision I knew he would get saved.

Sixteen years went by and things were going along seemingly normal. But in February of 1996 George felt ill for a few weeks and was beginning to wonder why. Once in the middle of the night he had a severe pain in his right side. He continued to feel discomfort in his side and also in his stomach until he finally went to see a doctor the last of April.

On May l5th George had an ultra sound and colonoscopy. The tests showed he had a cancerous tumor in the large intestine and the cancer had traveled to the liver. The surgeon took the tumor out on May 16th and George saw the cancer doctor the next week. The cancer doctor set up a schedule to take chemotherapy five weeks after the operation.

George lived sixteen months after he found out about the cancer. He stayed busy. He partitioned off his garage so he could have one room for a carpentry shop to work in through the fall and winter. It amazed me how he spent many hours each day making things out of wood.

In the spring of 1997 George wasn't well enough to do the carpentry any more so he started working in the yard setting out bulbs and perennial plants. He didn't think he would get to see the plants come up, but he did. He had made some bluebird houses and put them up. We got one family of bluebirds. I had never seen a bluebird before this.

By the last of March George's liver function count had started to climb again along with a higher cancer count. The chemotherapy had become ineffective. From the first of June until the last of August George received treatments to eliminate some of the fluids built up in his body because of the liver malfunction.

My brethren and I had been praying for George for years. One brother and sister had stayed up all night praying for George. God assured us that His hand was over the situation.

At our Sunday night meeting on July 6th a college girl named Rachel Bell converted. This was an encouragement to all the brethren.

On the morning of July 7th, Paula McCusker, one of the Friends of Jesus Christ, felt George on her heart. God gave her a message for George. She came by to see him that morning to let him know the message she received from God. George was sitting out under the canopy at the picnic table. She didn't see him until George spoke to her. She told him the reason why he never fully yielded to God was because he was proud. He thought he knew better than others. This was why he always had trouble doing God's will with regards to being in subjection to the body of Christ. She also said that if the Apostle Paul or John Wesley were here, he wouldn't have been in subjection to them either because his heart was proud.

The Lord had prepared George for the message and he readily agreed. Then he told Paula he wanted to go into the house to tell me. The three of us knelt down in our kitchen and George confessed to God it was so that he had a proud heart. George's burden was then gone and he became a new person in Christ Jesus.

George suffered physically the last two months, but spiritually he was a happy man. He never wanted to offend God in anything and he loved the brethren deeply. He thanked the brethren for all their prayers in the past. His eyes had a glow in them that let us know that he was a child of heaven.

Our family would come to see George often before he died. They wanted to spend as much time as they could with him. George would say grace at the table when our daughter or sons would come with their spouses and children. The grandchildren would be quiet while George prayed. His prayers would always include being thankful for what Christ did on the cross and the precious blood of the Lamb.

These months when George had the cancer were special in a lot of ways. All of his seven brothers and seven sisters came to visit him at least once and most came more than once. My brother, Kerry, and his wife, Phyllis, were faithful to come almost every Sunday evening the last two months George was with us. Many old friends and people George had worked with came to visit him.

George had a concern about how his funeral would be conducted, so we asked Jim McCusker to come over and talk about it with us. George wanted the funeral to be in our Farmington Falls meeting house and the service to be conducted like a meeting.

George had the patience of a saint in his last days and never complained. His favorite song was When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder.

On the morning of September 8th George said to his sister Marie and me, "I'm on my last legs". He said to me in the afternoon, "I'm dying". He couldn't talk a lot of the day he died, but he stayed awake most of the time. I remember thinking to myself it would be just like George to want to stay awake till his last moment.

That evening our children were with George and helped me to fix his bed in a more comfortable way. Later the brethren all came and gathered around George's bed. George talked some with the brethren and we sang some hymns. Everyone left around eight that night except our son, George, who stayed to help.

As George's breathing got heavier and slower, I sat by his bedside. After awhile I decided the most comforting thing for him and for me would be for me to pray until God took him. I asked God to take him quickly so he wouldn't have to struggle with his breathing all night.

George's face was happier as I prayed for him to have an easy entrance into heaven. We could see each breath getting further and further apart, but his face was more peaceful all the time until finally he stopped breathing. I can say from going through this experience with George as it says in Psalm 116,

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

Most of my thoughts about George have to do with the future. I know I will see him again some day and we will fly over green grassy hills together like I saw in my vision. God's promises always come to pass.

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