and I listened
and thought about my life
I was at a memorial service of an old friend
someone Alvin and I graduated with
someone who always treated us like good friends when we bumped into him
The service was unique, and special
filled with friends and family
it was completely about him - his love for his wife, his kids, his parents and siblings
his love for his job as a professor, his students and for life in general
It was about his love for Jesus and how he lived a life that integrated all of it.
It was truly
a celebration of his life
and yet for me, and I am sure for each one in the pew
it created a space of time
for reflection up close and personal
I guess it is called introspection
you know what I mean I figure
You have likely been in the pew yourself over the years
I looked it up - the definition of introspection
and it read:
It has been an interesting thing lately.
I have thought alot about the fact that one day,
out of each couple - one will bury the other.
Think of it (if you are in a marriage) - unless you die together,
the reality is that one of you will inevitably bury the other one.
It is a sobering thought
and not one that I like to think of often,
However the reality is, every time I sit in the pew at a funeral of a friend (Two in the last month)
I am forced into thinking of our reality with the passing of time.
Some people would not want to hear that.
I remember very distinctly the day that Mom said to us girls
"You girls, if I go first, don't be upset if Dad chooses to remarry."
I remember at the time one of my sisters said, "Mom, we don't want to think about that"
Alvin and I have joked with one another.
I have teased him that he would eat toast for the rest of his life.
I have also told him that he would need to remarry! (I think I have spoiled him actually)
He has told me that if anything ever happened to me, that he would buy a motorcycle and tour the states, and then he would spend all his time with the grandkids.
I guess depending on the age, that could be a plus or a minus for the grandkids. LOL
We joke ...
But somehow, as we get older with each year - there is this unknown to our joking!
There is a reality
And as I sit in the pew at a funeral of a friend, there is this reflection that happens
And I can't help but wonder how I, would walk through losing someone who has been my love and my life for (at this point) almost 40 years of my life!!
I can't help but also reflect on things like - what it would be like to know that within days you will be in the presence of Jesus!
Or reflect on how you help your family say good-bye and plan for a future without you
I can't help but think the bittersweetness of saying good-bye to this earth - knowing what you are going to, and also knowing that it is only good-bye for a time.
And, then I think of what Jesus will say.
I want him to say, "Well done, good and faithful servant!!"
I want to finish well when that times comes.
I want to finish strong in the faith.
I want to leave a strong legacy of faith for my kids, and my grandkids.
I want them to know that this Mom/Granny loved Jesus with all her heart!
So I sit in the pew and hear the words spoken by children of the deceased.
Words spoken by the spouse
by the co-workers
by life long friends
I see the pictures of a smiling face -
pictures of embraces with family and friends
of moments and memories - each one telling a portion of the story of his life
And my heart is blessed.
and I reflect ...
that is the reality of life in the pew
on a Friday afternoon in January
saying good-bye to a friend, until we meet again - in heaven.
and I for one, have been touched by his life.