Friday, May 23, 2008

Tribute to Ardyce

Memorial Day will really be a memorial day for many of us here in Loma Linda, including myself. On Memorial Day we will celebrate the life of my dear friend Ardyce,* who sadly passed away last Friday after a short, unexpected illness. She had just turned 80. 

A short blog doesn't do justice to Ardyce's life of sharing and kindness that she showed to me and to all of her many (thousands of!) friends and family members. Ardyce was a violinist, teacher, former mayor of Loma Linda, general mover and shaker in the community, chair of the Loma Linda University Church vespers committee, loving wife, and adopted mother of not only a few "official" children but numerous "unofficial" ones. Since I would have no idea where to start with all of that, I'll just briefly share some of the many things she's done for me in the last 7 or so years that I've known her.

First of all, she was the person who got me here to Loma Linda. In 2001, when I was living with my parents in Dayton after finishing grad school, I was teaching violin lessons and playing in the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, but also wondering what was next--I knew that I didn't want to live in Dayton all of my life. Plus, my 2-year contract with the DPO was going to expire. I was contemplating the orchestral studies program at the Manhattan School of Music, which didn't turn out. At that time my family reconnected with Ardyce, whom my dad had been close friends with many, many years ago, through one of her family members who was living in Dayton at the time and went to church at Kettering with us. I met her when she came to visit, had some nice conversation, and later she gave my name to my now-coworkers as a prospective violin teacher here at the Academy. When they called, I decided that Southern California seemed like a great place to try out--nice work environment, mecca of Adventism, chance to meet lots of like-minded SDA young people, nice warm weather, and palm trees.

After I moved here, I stayed with Ardyce for a few days as she helped me find an apartment. Then she proceeded to introduce me to just about everyone I know--she knew a lot of people--including contacts for freelancing and a friend of hers who introduced me to Advent HOPE Sabbath School. So, through that, I could almost say that everyone I know here and everything I do here was thanks to her!

Besides that, her continuing friendship has sustained me during the last 6 years I've lived here. She invited me to be a member of the LLUC vespers committee, has taken me to concerts, and was always willing to have me over for chamber music night or Saturday night popcorn and Mexican Train dominoes, even after her husband passed away. 

Although I'm sad to see her go, I know she had a long, full, and purposeful life, and I'm glad that her final illness was a quick one. Apparently she was mostly asleep for the last few weeks since she went to the hospital, and finally just never woke up. I praise God that we do have hope for the resurrection, that people can fall asleep peacefully because they know that the next thing they'll see is the face of their Creator and Redeemer. 

*Because of excessive googling activity in the WWW, I have stopped publishing my friends' last names. But many of you know who I'm talking about anyway.

1 comment:

Rachel and Eric Nelson said...

Wow, that's beautiful. Thanks for sharing about her!