by Tom Wacaster
A number of years ago I made arrangements for the funeral of an older member in the congregation where I worked. The problem was, she was not dead, simply away on vacation in California. Read on. Our sister Winnie Myers was visiting relatives in Bakersville, California. I received a telephone call from a Miss Margie Myers (from some small town in California), who had just arrived in town along with the body of her deceased mother, informing me of her mother Winnie's death, and requesting permission to hold a service at the congregation were I presently worked. Of course I reacted with surprise and asked, "Winnie Myers passed away?" Now the Winnie who died did not have the last name of Myers, but her daughter (who DID have the last name of Myers) in her distraught condition merely responded, "Yes." I expressed my sorrow, hung up the phone and told our secretary that Winnie Myers had passed away in California. "Are you sure?" came the response. Well, all the facts were in! Of course I was sure. So we began making arrangements for the funeral of our sister Myers. It was not until later that afternoon when I stopped at the funeral home that my mistake became apparent. Talk about backtracking! While the consequences were more embarrassing than harmful, it impressed upon me the importance of getting facts straight before acting. By the way, there was no kinship between the two Myers families, and our sister Winnie Myers found the incident somewhat amusing.