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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Honoring three women

I have been to three funerals in a little over a week. I'm honoring the deceased here briefly. Their memories deserve more.

One of them was my wife's first cousin. She died from breast cancer, which she had battled for several years. One thing that stuck out, on one of our visits, is that she was very concerned about the things she might have said to those caring for her, nurses and family. We, and others, told her not to worry about it, but she did, anyway. People can say things they wish they hadn't, and normally wouldn't, when in extreme pain, or when medicated, and she had had both of these. This indicated to us that her spirit was tender and open to the Holy Spirit's promptings. I hope mine is.

Another was my wife's aunt. She was a widow for nearly twenty years. She was always concerned for her large family, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. I need to be, too.

The third was in charge of the dining room at the college I have retired from. That's never an easy position, but she handled it with grace and diligence. The food was good, too. (We have now gone, like many colleges, to a contracted organization that takes care of feeding students and others.) When I first came on campus, over four decades ago, she and her husband invited me for my first Sunday meal in the area. I was young, and single, and I lived on campus and ate with the students. Some of us started throwing ice cubes at each other, which we thought was harmless fun. It could have caused problems, though. She took me aside once, and asked me to watch out for such behavior. I'm sure she knew full well that I was one of the participants.
She was a woman of prayer, and she was participating in a plan to read the Bible through in a year, almost to her dying day.

I'm going to die, too. So are you. I'm sure someone can find something good to say about me. I'm also sure it won't be the whole story. Will others look back on my life, and say that I lived for others? That I lived for God? That I tried to have a kind, friendly attitude toward everyone, even when I was in pain, or on medication? I hope so.

Thanks for reading.


Julana said...

I've been to a funeral lately, too. It gives one pause to think, tilts the perspective we look at life with, straightens up our value system a little.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, Julana. We should probably attend a funeral every few months or so.