A (long) Faith Journey and a cause for HOPE!

On Monday I went to Richmond, Virginia to visit my aunt Mary Margaret.  Later that day we drove to Annendale to spend the evening with Corky and Jeanie Korves and, on the way, we stopped to visit Mary Margaret’s good friend Esther.  Since childhood I heard stories of Esther and her friendship with Mary Margaret. On August 15th she celebrated her birthday.  An annual event! An unusual event since, this year, Esther celebrated her 103rd birthday.  Yes, one hundred and third!  I didn’t know what to expect as we turned of the I 95 highway and travelled down a much quieter road.  What we met, though no surprise to Mary Margaret, was an amazing woman – as pleasant as she was hospitable, who talked and laughed with ease, all the while praising God for her family,  her friendships and her life.  She spoke of “the Lord Jesus” with an obvious fondness and familiarity that made me realise his constant presence in a heart that has beaten for more than a century.  While much has come and gone in Esther’s life and in our world, the strength of faith and the abiding Presence remained.  Listen to her now as she recalls the day she “was baptized in Jesus’ name” and “found the Holy Ghost” …….

I especially like the bit where she came home that eveniing but didn’t know how she got home and her father threw his amrs around her and praised God that she was so happy.  Watch her as she remembers her father’s hug and re-enacts it.  Before that her niece told Esther’s mother; “I think we should carry Esther to the doctor”!!  This woman is 103 years old.

We sang a hymn together and though we might not win prizes it was an “amazing grace”!

December 2008

My aunt called me to let me know Esther died.  May she rest in peace.  I am glad I had the chance to meet her and am grateful to my aunt for that and to Esther for her welcome and witness.  May she now feel the enfolding of the Lord’s “long arms”.  God bless her and her family.



6 thoughts on “A (long) Faith Journey and a cause for HOPE!”

  1. Hello Vincent, I am April Toliver (Esther’s great niece).
    Ms. Mary Margaret gave me the link to your webpage so I could see the videos. I loved them! She spoke of you fondley after your visit. That’s so much for taking the time to recognize my “grandma”.
    April Toliver

    1. April, Just heard from Mary Margaret that Esther passed on. May she rest in peace. I am truly glad that I had the chance to meet with her. A highlight of the year. May you find strength and peace at this time and draw strength from your many memories of a great woman. God Bless you all. Vincent

  2. Thank you so much for your kind words and for your lovely aunt Mary Margaret, she will always be a part of the Toliver-Boone family. We love her so much. I came to visit your page this morning to watch the videos again. Can you please email them to me at apriltoliver@aol.com, it will be greatly appreciated.


  3. April,

    I sent you an email. I think you can download the video clips from You Tube. They would be too large to email. Let me know how you get on.


  4. Hi Vincent My name is Dee Johnson I am Esther’s great neice also. I am also April’s oldest sister. Thanks for your kind words for my aunt, she was a wonderful person. I got the opportunity to spend a great evening with Mrs. Shannon we ate and talked a great deal she was very kind to my aunt and I will always be appreciative of that and grateful for their meeting.

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