Two dear friends have recently lost a parent, so there was a funeral for the mother of one friend and one for the father of another. You know, even in the midst of sadness and loss, we who remain behind get only one chance to make that final tribute to the life our loved ones lived. We try to do it in the best way we know how.
These two services were perfect.
My friend’s mom had suffered from dementia for several years. Yet she was so much more than the challenges that consumed her last days. Well-educated with a degree in Bacteriology, she also loved opera, playing bridge, her church, volunteering, museums, reading, travel, sailing, and of course, her family. She left them such a legacy, including a deep seated love for her college alma mater’s sports teams. Her daughter exhibits so many of her mother’s fine traits and characteristics in the way she lives her own life, and in the way she cared for her mother in her later years.
My other friend’s dad was in a position where he could have chosen several different kinds of paths for his life. The fact that he always chose honesty, integrity, and humility speaks so highly of who his father was, as well as the legacy he leaves behind. Our friend LOOKs so much like his father, and I believe that he LIVEs like him as well, because those same characteristics are displayed in our friend’s life. He has chosen those same paths that his father walked. As his father looks in on him from heaven, I know he remains so very proud of his son.
Each of these friends took that one chance they were given and used it well to pay a special tribute to the lives their parents lived, and to the ways they had made this world a better place for us all.
We must all learn to go on living here without our loved ones when they pass away. But knowing we’ll see them again one day brings such joy. God’s arms of comfort are strong and warm, and I am thankful they are always there to constantly surround us during these sorrowful times.