Mindy Gledhill Music

Child of Light

Posted on: November 7, 2008

I just got home from singing at a funeral. Just walked through the door, just settled on the couch and set my keys beside me. Except, these really aren’t my keys. This morning I couldn’t find my car keys. As I slung my purse over my shoulder and reached for my keys on the hook by the back door, there was nothing there—a familiar scenario. I searched in all of the likely places: on my vanity, bedspread, kitchen table, counter tops, floor, and the boys’ rooms. Nothing. I prayed (as I often do when I lose something important), but the clock ticked on and I knew I had ten minutes to be in a place that was twenty minutes away. Frantic, I called my mother-in-law who lives across the street.
“Hi Leslie, it’s Mindy. You wouldn’t happen to have an extra car over there that I could borrow? I am late for a funeral that I have been asked to sing at.”
Leslie is always gracious to me. She looked around the house for the keys to their Jeep Wrangler, but soon discovered that it was out of gas. She obliged a busy son if he would let me take his Jetta, but he was of course going to need it. She would have even let me take her luxurious Sequoia but she had just loaded it with things and was on her way somewhere.
“All we have is the moving van….”
“I’ll take it!” I responded with only five minutes remaining.
I flew down the back stairs down to the carport and jumped in the driver’s seat of the big, white van only to realize that the windshield was encrusted with ice. Luckily, there was an ice scraper on the floor. I hopped out, scraped off the frost from the early-morning chill, climbed back inside and was on my way.
Putting the pedal to the metal, I ripped out of the driveway and made my way just south of town to Springville, UT. I squinted at my paper with a set of mapquested directions. Turn left on 400 South. I turned left. Turn right on S. Canyon Rd. I went all the way up 400 South, and could have sworn there was never an S. Canyon Rd. I retraced my path driving back down 400 South to where I first made the left-hand turn. No S. Canyon Rd. in sight. I prayed. I cried.
“Reva!” I cried out loud. “Where is your funeral?”
Reva Taylor emailed me on July 10th, almost three months ago. Her letter read:
Dear Mindy,
My name is Reva Taylor. I live in Springville, UT with my wonderful husband. I am a fifty-five year old mother of five children and grandmother of nine grandchildren. I love your music and listen to it all the time.
I am terminally ill as a result of ovarian cancer. I am trying to make some preparations for my own funeral. I would like my daughter to sing one of your songs at my funeral. The song is “Child of Light.”
Reva went on to say that she could not find the sheet music anywhere and wondered if I could help her get a hold of it “someway, somehow.” I told her that I would be happy to get help her out and that I was honored at such a request.
Three weeks later, Reva turned up at one of my concerts. She introduced herself and reminded me of her email. I reached for her and we embraced as we both wept. I was about to go on stage and Reva only had the strength to stay for a few songs.
In October, I received a new email from Reva (which she later confessed, took her over an hour to write). She had a new request. She had been listening to “The Sum of All Grace” from her bedside and was particularly drawn to track one, “I Will Rest in You.” She asked if I would sing it at her funeral as well as accompany her daughter, Tanya, on “Child of Light.” I don’t normally just sing for people I barely know. But this was a very different case indeed. I was honored by her request. Arrangements were made for a rehearsal. Reva was not in a state to leave her bed, but she did not want to miss the rehearsal knowing that she would not be there in person to hear the real performance. This was the last time I would see her. She was frail, and needed to be wrapped in blankets to keep warm. But her spirit burned brightly and she directed our rehearsal with the zeal of Gerald Ottley (of course, weeping intermittently). Never was there such an overwhelming feeling of peace and love in my living room.
Today, through tears, as I drove around Springville like a maniac in a moving van, I called out to Reva and asked her to guide me to the church where her funeral was taking place. I asked her to please laugh at the sight of me in that ridiculous moving van. I put my foot on the gas and accelerated in faith. I came up to 1300 East and felt impressed to take a right. Bingo. 1300 East soon turned into Canyon Rd, which put me back on course with my faulty directions.
I made it just in time to sing and play the songs that Reva had carefully chosen for her own services. I barely know Reva Taylor, but we were meant to be friends. This I know. She must have been one special lady judging by the hoards of gorgeous flowers adorning the stand and the sprawl of family and friends extending to the very back wall of the overflow. In a career field that often feels so competitive and frivolous, thank you Reva, for giving it meaning in my life.
Now, if only you could help me find my car keys.

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9 Responses to "Child of Light"

Wow….thank you for sharing that story. It’s amazing to watch the plan unfold, person after person, story after story. The faith of some people is just incredible. I can bet that this experience was just another confirmation that you’re doing what you’re supposed to…what a blessing. :O)

Don’t you wish there were more moments like these? I know, I know, hectic, crazy, perhaps disorganized, and in the midst of all the chaos… peace, inspiration, spiritually uplifting serenity, and the sweet whisperings of the spirit.
Grace is a very apropos word for your moment.
Thank you for sharing.

Mindy that is a really neat story. I love how the Holy Ghost works in such everyday, yet important moments to get us where we need to be when we need to be there.

That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing. And I’ve been listening to “The Sum of All Grace” in my car this week, too.

Mindy,

I am somewhat of a lurker…but I actually was a freshman when you were a senior at Provo High School and I remember hearing you sing once at a little school concert. I am also a friend of Stephanie’s and a good friend of Liz Bryant’s, so I’ve been keeping up with Steph’s recovery. I just wanted to say that I came across your blog and check often now and after talking with Liz about the Mesa benefit concert, I truly hope that one can be done here in Provo. I would love to help with anything if you so need. Thanks for inspiring all those around you!

Love, Michelle

Dear Mindy,
I recieved your text message, of course, after the funeral. I am so sorry. That had to be so so stressful.

I don’t really know where to begin. This has been long in coming, but thank you just doesn’t seem to make sense.

So I will give you the truth of that thank you. Your music in some way healed my Mom. It gave her strength to deal with death. How do you thank someone giving that. My cup runneth over. I have listened to your songs so many times. I try to imagine what my Mom felt, and although I can never truly understand what it must have been like for her, I can listen to the words of your songs and understand why her soul longed to hear them. My Dad said she listened to it every hour, over and over again.

None of us will be able to give you in return what you gave to my Mom. It is grace. It is a gift you have.

If you ever need someone to accompany you, for anything. Count me in. Really. I would love to do that. It will be a way of keeping my Mom alive in me. So let me know.

I won’t ever forget you.

Tanya Taylor

Mindy,
That was amazing, funny, touching, and spiritual all in the same reading.
Thanks for posting your experience and giving me a faith boost.

Mindy,
I knew Reva. She was indeed an amazing person. I can’t remember a time when she wasn’t smiling. Thank you for the spirit you brought to her funeral. I know it meant a lot to her to have you sing for her.

Mindy,
Beautiful experience, a tender mercy moment for both you and Reva. Your spirit communicating with hers, our sphere of influence does not end with this life and sometimes we are brushed by an Angel.
I bought a CD at Costco the other day and to my delight and surprise it was your Lullaby cd.

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