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Story ID:8349
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Family History
Location:Canajoharie New York USA
Person:Little Girl
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By Fred Wickert

Many years ago, my much loved nephew passed away on the morning of his 40th birthday. My wife, myself, my sister and brother-in-law, parents of the deceased, my niece and her husband and two children were all together in some rooms of the large church building before the beginning of the funeral. My sister wanted me to practice with a woman she had arranged to have accompany me when I sang the Lord’s Prayer at the funeral.

It was with great difficulty that I explained to my sister that I did not want anyone to accompany me. My voice was giving out and it was only good for one try. If I practiced first, my voice was going to break and I couldn't sing it at the funeral. It was imperative that I sing it alone and without rehearsal. My sister finally understood but was skeptical.

While all this discussion was going on, the youngest daughter of my niece needed to use the bathroom. Her mother advised her to go ahead. This daughter was barely more than a toddler in age and quite proud that she could manage by herself and without her mother’s help.

Soon time was running out and it was time for the family to proceed to the chapel for the services to begin. The little girl was not yet out of the bathroom. My niece went to the bathroom door and called to her daughter. She was answered by a tear-laden voice. She had been trying to come out but was unable to get the door unlocked. Thinking it was probably just stuck from moisture swelling the door, her father tried the door without success. Everything tried was fruitless.

Finally her father turned to me. I was by profession a police officer. He figured I must have some experience in opening locked doors, and indeed, I had. I told them to get her as far away from that door as they could. When they were assured she was at the far end of the room I told them to have her look away from the door to protect her from any flying debris, and then with one mighty kick I broke the lock on the door. Little girl and mother were reunited safely. Tears were dried and replaced with smiles.
During the service, at the appropriate time, I stood at the foot of the casket and sang The Lord’s Prayer. When I concluded, there was not a dry eye in the building and, for a few seconds, there was not a sound. Then the minister said in a voice barely audible, “Wow.” I was to learn later that those were the sentiments generally felt among the crowd. My sisters skepticism had vanished. I had, over the years, sung The Lord’s Prayer at many a function. That was to be the last. My voice was never again capable of singing anything all the way through.

In three more days, at the funeral reception probably, following the service for my now deceased sister, I will get to meet the young man that little girl, now grown into a beautiful young woman, has decided to accept as Mr. Right. I have been thinking that when I meet him, I should explain that when she gets herself locked in the bathroom and he has to bust in the door, to be sure he has her stand back and protect her face. I wonder if she will blush?

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