Orlondo Sewell wept as the casket of his mother, Myra Cason, was closed during her funeral Tuesday at .
Then his 8-year-old son, Lance, stepped forward and whispered, “Daddy, it’ll be all right.”
The Rev. Tony Adawu, who presided at the Glen Burnie woman’s funeral Mass, drew a parallel between Lance’s words and those of Jesus, who comforted his apostles during the Last Supper. Cason, a retired county teacher who taught at Bates Middle and Meade and Broadneck high schools, was a member of the church’s sodality.
In the passage, as was recounted in the Gospel of John read during the Mass, Jesus spoke of his impending death and told them not to be troubled because he would prepare a place for them in heaven. When the apostle Thomas asked what the way was, Jesus replied he was the way.
“He told them this at table for the last time. If you like, these are the words of a man who knew he was going to die. It’s reassurance, just like this young man said, ‘Daddy, it’s going to be all right,” Adawu told a standing room only church during the homily. “We are not saying, ‘What has happened to our sister?’ We are saying, ‘We know where our sister is going.’”
Cason, 63, was found in a Glen Burnie parking lot. No one has been arrested in connection with the homicide.
Adawu spoke briefly of the circumstances surrounding her death.
“We wish our sister would have stayed longer, and we wish she didn’t die the way she did,” he said. “But you and I know, we have no set wisdom to delve into how we will die.”
Mourners sang “Blessed Assurance” at Adawu’s urging. Bishop Larry Lee Thomas of had led attendees to sing the same hymn during a Jan. 31 vigil in the same parking lot in which Cason was killed.
Parts of the funeral were emotional for many involved. Several sang along to “Old Rugged Cross” and “Going Up Yonder,” the opening and closing hymns respectively.
When one of Cason’s relatives tried to read “Poem for My Family and Friends,” a poem Cason’s granddaughter wrote about her grandmother, she was overcome with emotion and had to be helped to make it through.
But mourners also found humor and comfort in Adawu’s words, as he urged them to remember Cason once sat where they did.
“She has written her story, and this is her song. You and I are storytellers and songwriters. What story are you writing that someone may take up,” he said as the crowd murmured. “We have many songs, and not all of them are pleasant. Some you don’t want to hear twice. The worst ones are the ones you start and don’t want to finish. Let us not write one like that.”
At least one of Cason’s friends said she would have been pleased to know of the crowd that came out. Cason also would be the first to urge those in mourning to forgive her killer, said Dorothy O’Guinn of Glen Burnie.
“She was very, very active in the community. She had lots of energy,” O’Guinn said. “She’d say, ‘I’m happy to know so many people remembered me.’”
The funeral was preceded by a wake featuring members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., the sorority to which Cason belonged. Cason’s interment was at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Brooklyn Park.