from Ellen H. and Joyce S.
Edith Miller was a member of our congregation until she died. She had a second bout with cancer and did not make it through that one. When she was unable to drive anymore, Ellen asked her what could she do to lessen her suffering in any way. Edith said that going to church and being among her church family was what she longed for and that doing that gave her a sense of peace. She was the self- appointed social director of the congregation at that time. She even planned her memorial service and made provisions for a champagne celebration.
She had a large collection of turtle figurines and anything else turtle which she treasured. She felt a deep connection to turtles. After she passed, she requested that her ashes be scattered at church. We held an ashes scattering ceremony at which tine her family came down from northern California to attend. They brought the turtle. She also loved the color purple so a collection was made to buy and plant a Jacaranda tree. Unfortunately, the tree died.
The plaque that goes with the turtle says,
“And the turtles, of course
all the turtles are free
as turtles and, maybe
all creatures should be.”
Turtles are highly respected by Native American and even play a part in some of their creation stories. Having the turtle in the sanctuary not only honors the memory of Edith Miller but also reminds us of our deep connection to the Earth Mother as well, much as using the rain stick in our services does.