Sitting proudly in a small rural town in southwestern North Carolina, is a lovely church-Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. I've known the parishioners of IHM for quite a few years...actually since the mid-eighties. Watching this parish flourish, relocate, and grow in faith has been a blessing for myself and my family in so many ways.
While recently attending weekly masses, I have had the chance to reflect on just how supportive and gracious the members of the IHM Community have been to our family. During 1998 thru 1999, this strong, willing, and compassionate congregation kindly dedicated themselves to my beloved Father, Charles Crews, as he was fighting his last battle with cancer. My father was surrounded by grace
and dignity...just as he had lived his entire life. In June of 2006 when my daughter, Erinn Kristen Orr, died rather suddenly and completely unexpectedly, the IHM parishioners wrapped their arms around our family and took care of our broken hearts and our broken spirits. Erinn's very young toddler son, Charlie, named for his great grandfather, was present during his mother's celebrated service, and he was truly cared for and loved by all that were present. Ten months ago, my Mother Virginia Louise Crews, at the young age of eighty-nine was welcomed home from her residence in Florida, to her final resting place at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Hayesville, North Carolina. This wonderful group of people shared stories about my mother-we all enjoyed celebrating her life on that sunny day in April of 2014.
This past spring of 2014, I decided to put in place some
reminders for these strong, gentle, and giving family members of mine. So, with the help of our family and friends we were able to dedicate a church pew to my parents, Charles and Virginia Crews. As I am sitting and resting on the church pew that is dedicated to my parents, I feel comfort and strength. And, along with parish members of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, I was able to dedicate a most beautiful stained glass window, to my beloved daughter-Erinn Kristen Orr. When I am surrounded by light and brilliant color from the beautiful stained glass window, I am filled with joy and so much love for my daughter.