By Wenda Grabau
One life… how much is it worth? It is probably not a question we entertain until it hits home. Even one life holds untold value.
I used to work in Sears Tower in Chicago. That building was 110 stories tall. I worked on the 44th floor.
Sears Bank was on the ground level. Working in payroll, it fell to me to take money in the form of a check to the bank to cover employees’ checks on payday. Checks I carried paid workers who lived in several states. Many people were unwittingly concerned about my accuracy and promptness. Did they know me? Certainly not. But my life touched theirs via their checkbooks and various benefits.
The building has several sets of elevators. They transport personnel up to their places of work and down to the cafeteria below the ground level. Two elevators took us up to 33rd floor where we transferred to another bank of lifts that brought us higher up.
As a young woman from the north woods of Wisconsin, I was not accustomed to regular use of elevators. So when I ventured onto the elevator as the sole passenger descending 44 floors, it did cross my mind that accidents in elevators could happen. I could become a casualty if something broke, I thought. That would indeed be tragic. Life is important.
My eyes flashed to the check I carried. Written in the tens of thousands of dollars, it was worth much. I reasoned that with all of the value on that piece of paper, I, as a human being, had indeed more value than that. I don’t mean to elevate my worth, so as to say I have more importance or accomplishments than someone else. I don’t. But I have learned that Jesus placed value on life when He sacrificed Himself for mankind. Life is important.
Recently, I said goodbye to an important life that I loved dearly. My mom passed away in January at the age of 95. Her one life was precious.
Years ago in my admiration of her, I wrote a little poem about her.
An Influential Woman
Dedicated to my own dear, mother, Virginia “Honey” Lofblad Yankee. She has been a positive, encouraging, mother who has believed in me. She has an adventuresome spirit causing her to develop many skills. Those have challenged me to ask, “If mom can do it, why can’t I?”
Wenda Yankee Grabau © 2000
You are an influential woman.
You may not have set out to be.
Your example of faith,
hope and love
Still stir in my heart tenderly.
Your life made me want
to be like you,
A Christian, a mother and wife.
A nurse, an artist, a musician,
You molded the course
of my life.
You moored me to godly ideals
Forever affecting my life.
You gave support,
ambitions and strife.
Now, I am raising
Along with my husband,
Your frequent prayers
on our behalf
Are the greatest sway
you have had.
You are an influential woman.
Your family is valued, ‘tis clear.
How glad I am
that Dad found you
And made you his own
My Mom’s Homemade Apple Pie
1 cup shortening (or 3/4 cup lard)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
6 tablespoons cold water
Mix these ingredients. Form into two balls.
On floured surface, roll out ball of dough into 10-11” circle. Fold the circle into fourths. This 1/4-size transfers easily into the pie plate. Trim edges.
Add the filling. (See below.) Dot with butter.
Prepare the second pie crust. Top the pie with folded pie crust. Trim the edges of the crust. Pinch the edges of the 2 crusts together. Cut slits in the top crust for steam vents.
Sprinkle the top crust with a generous amount of sugar and cinnamon, to taste. Bake the pie at 350° for 50 min. or until the crust is lightly browned and the filling shows thick bubbling.
Apple Pie Filling
4-5 cups of pared, sliced apples. (My favorites are tart apples.
Rhubarb may be substituted for apples)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons flour
Mix ingredients together.