Don and I are both from fairly small families. He is one of four siblings. I am one of three. Knock on wood, we are from fairly healthy families, too. That is to say it has been over a decade since we have attended a family funeral. I realized this last week when I learned my Great-Aunt Lee passed away. We last saw her four years ago in her final home in Illinois. She was still enough of herself that our visit was enjoyable. Unfortunately as the years passed, she was overtaken by dementia, so her passing is really a blessing.
When Ashley was a baby we attended a bunch of funerals. Between family and people we knew from church, poor Ashley saw the inside of many funeral homes. There was Ta-ta's funeral when Ashley was 8 months old, followed two weeks later by Great-Uncle Russ's funeral (Aunt Lee's husband). I was really waiting for the "third" one as in, things happen in threes. Don's dad, Pop-pop died not long after Ashley turned two (about a year and a half after Ta-ta) to finish up the "three" for us, and ended the streak of family funerals.
As we prepare ourselves to say good-bye to Aunt Lee, there is this part of me wondering "who will be next?" Now that the decade-long streak of family funerals has ended, who will I have to say good-bye to next?
Nothing like a funeral to put living into perspective. Nothing like hearing a good eulogy to make you want to become a better person.
Live as you want your eulogy to read. At Uncle Russ's funeral the words that God was welcoming his "good and faithful servant" have echoed as an inspiration to me. Will God say the same when I go through the Pearly Gates or will I be reminded of the strangers I ignored and everything I could have, should have done better?
What can I do to leave this world a better place?
Make time for family. You don't know how much longer you'll get to spend time with them in this world. That is the message I am leaving you with today.