Monday Would Have Been Too Late

I was serving as district Relief Society president in 1969 and felt I should make a special effort to keep in contact with the sisters who lived long distances from the meetinghouses.

One of these sisters lived one and one-half hours’ drive from my home and an hour from the nearest chapel. She was diabetic, and a recent stroke had left her partially paralyzed.

I had arranged to visit this sister on a scheduled Monday holiday. Fast Sunday preceded this holiday, and when we came home from church and broke our fast, I felt an urge to visit her immediately. My husband felt I’d have more time for a proper visit the next day, but I kept feeling that we should not wait. Finally, my husband said, “All right, let’s go.”

We arrived at her home just after six o’clock in the evening. We knocked and got no answer. The house seemed deserted.

We knocked and called through the mail slot in the door and were on the point of leaving when I recalled my friend had said, “When you come to see me, just open the door and come in.” I asked my husband what he thought we should do, and he said, “Try opening the door.”

It opened. I called her name and heard a faint reply. We found her lying in a pool of water on the kitchen floor. The cane she used to support herself with had slipped, and she’d dropped a kettle of water she was carrying and had fallen to the floor herself. Once she was down, she couldn’t get up again.

My husband and I got her up and onto the couch she used as a bed, then my husband went for a doctor. The doctor had been trying to get her to go into a care center for the elderly, and when he came to see her she finally agreed. She realized just how near her accident had been to a disaster.

She told me she had prayed the Lord would send someone to help her, and I’ve always been grateful I was listening to the promptings of the Spirit that fast day. If we had waited until the next day to visit her, we would have been too late.

[illustration] Illustrated by Anthony Nethercott