Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sweet, Tender Reminders...

Funerals...One today, one last week...
these usually come in three's, but I'm hoping like crazy this time will be different! 
I'm not ready for anyone else to go... 
But are we ever really ready to let someone we love go??? 
It is hard to say good-bye...
It's hard to know we will no longer see this person or share special days with them...
at least not here...but someday we will be reunited ~ and what a joyous day that will be...
The thing I love about funerals is celebrating the life of a beautiful person, I love the stories and feelings that are shared...I love the testimonies that are freely given...I love the love that is felt by all...I love that I go away wishing to be a better person than I was before I came, the resolve that I have to love deeper and to live life to its fullest.

A beautiful letter was shared during the service today; this special friend had written a letter in the last days of her life to be shared with her children and grandchildren, in her letter she shared a quote by Winston Churchill, simple yet so profound -- "Never, never, never give up."  She told them that her one wish was to never have any empty seats in Heaven...she reassured them that no matter what, they could always return, there was a way as long as they kept trying and never gave up...
As I sat and listened to the words she had written for her loved ones, I found it such a blessing to be present...her advice and her love were perfect, not only for her family members, but for all in the congregation.  Her life was an example of goodness and kindness and love, she radiated Joy!  She will be missed, but is now spending eternity with her sweet husband ~ I'm sure she is having the time of her life in his arms!

At the end of the funeral a dear friend of mine, Kristi Evans, that I haven't seen in over 6 years came up behind me...
Sweet, tender reminders
of days long gone flooded our memories...
The emotion we both felt at seeing one another took us by surprise...
we hugged and cried and cried and hugged and just looked at each other; after a few moments, we were able to speak...
years ago, we shared some of the most sacred, tender times together as we sat with another friend of ours, Jennifer, during her transition from this life back to life with our Heavenly Father. 
If you have never been present during the death of a loved one...
I don't really know how to describe the feeling...
the loss, the grief, the joy that her pain is over...
the bond of eternal friendship...
the bond of those present, indescribable...
that is what I believe Kristi and I have together...a bond that will forever be.

Seeing one another is such a sweet, yet difficult feeling. 
Today, it was as though we felt our loss all over again,
maybe we felt that all three of us should be there together,
not just the two of us...
I don't know quite how to explain the feeling.
It was as though, at that precise moment, Jennifer was right there with us, the Spirit radiated such an intense, overwhelming feeling of Love, of understanding, an unspoken bond that forever changes who you are...a reminder of something so much bigger than we are...
Perhaps that was the reason all Kristi and I could do was cry and look at one another...It took a few minutes to "gather" ourselves up to be able to speak and even then, the words were hard to come by.  Our times together were so REAL...unlike what many have experienced together...

Another tender moment that Kristi and I shared after Jennifer's death was preparing her body for her funeral. 
Jennifer's sweet husband, Alan asked us to dress and prepare her;
 I really felt I needed to say no, but how could I say no to someone who had just lost his wife and the mother of his child, not to mention I had the highest admiration for this man that I could ever have for any individual in this life...I placed him on the highest pedestal...the love and care he gave to Jennifer day after day was amazing and unbelievable, his gentleness was inspiring. 
 
It was the hardest thing I had ever been asked to do...I will never forget that day as long as I live...I remember Alan walking into the funeral home with a bag tucked under his arm, he slowly handed over a package containing a new dress and said to me "this is the last dress I will ever get to buy for my wife...please dress her in it, I want her to be beautiful." 
We all hugged and cried until we had the strength to take care of Jennifer one final time...

It was heart-wrenching to say good-bye to our friend...I felt she was far too young to be taken from this life, to be taken from us, but I know that there must have been some pretty special things that she needed to do...and I'm certain that she has given her entire heart and soul to the work that is asked of her.

Just this morning before heading out to the funeral, I thought of this sweet friend of mine and of her passing....occasionally she just comes to my thoughts...

I loved her, her strength and her love amazed me...she never complained ~ one day I remember asking her what was the hardest for her;  her reply struck me to my very core -- "Not being able to get on the floor to play with Tyler is the hardest."  She and I had babies at about the same time and I am telling you I think I hardly removed myself from the floor for the next several weeks after her comment.  I found myself so grateful that I could play with my babies and that I could do all the things that her body no longer allowed her to do. 

Sweet, Tender Reminders...
Celebrating the lives of those we've loved...

maybe these moments strengthen our resolve to do better,
to be better,
to appreciate the little things,
to show a little more love,
to share compassion abundantly,
to reach out and touch the life of another,
to be the person we wish to become...
to be the person we were meant to be...