SHE WAITED FOR REVIVAL TO begin. Sitting on the right-hand side of the Damascus Southern Baptist Church, near the middle of the fourth pew. A gold plaque stuck on each end sanctified TO THE LOVING MEMORY OF ARTHUR FRANCIS HAYES MAY 10, 1919–MARCH 5, 1986. Chin up. Shoulders square. Back straight. Knees together. Feet crossed at ankles. Hands cupped in lap. Momma always said a lady never reveals her true age and carries good posture to the grave.
Stared forward. Past the linen covered Lord’s Table. The store-bought yellow chrysanthemums wrapped in green foil. The new white flickering candles and the cross shining gold. Scrutinized the blood-colored dossal hanging behind the altar. Decided the fabric was soiled. Dagnabbit! Humph! Pish and pshaw! Should’ve been professional cleaning. Another detail I would’ve done. Looked away. Wagged her head. Shrugged. Silently snorted.
A linen handkerchief, edged with frail lace…
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Mildred doesn’t think she’s holier-than-thou; she knows it. Her Second Blessing confirms it. But after choking on Communion, she begins to doubt. Will her faith crumble because of a family secret?
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