Today, I had the honor of attending the funeral of a friend's mother. This is what I have to say:
1. I grew up with this friend. We went to school together, had sleepovers together, went to the movies together, registered for middle school together, went to the pool together, double-dated together, laughed together, and cried together. We sometimes had disagreements, and slight falling-outs, but overall, I'd say we remained pretty good friends.
2. Once while visiting church with her, I met the man she would eventually marry.....we had no idea then! Maybe she did, but I didn't! He was a cut-up for sure! I think he was the only person who really made her feel special a lot of times. Him and his family have been good to her, from what I have seen.
3. I met his parents at their firstborn's first birthday party. I probably met them that time I went to church with her, but I do not remember. I met his parents and his sisters. He has lots of sisters. Anyway, they all seemed oh so nice, and they really did seem to care a lot about his wife, my friend.
4. When telling my sweet Aunt Ruby one time years ago about who my friend had married , she realized quickly that he was the son of her friends, and they went way back. As Aunt Ruby would put it, "As a matter of fact, he went with me and Dennis on one of our first dates!" In Aunt Ruby's younger days, she met these folks, I'd have to say in the 70s, and she knew them until she passed. She told me that even though they were all wild in their younger years, that family was definitely a good family for my friend to marry into, she was blessed to be married to their son, according to Aunt Ruby.
5. Fast forward to today. My heart literally broke when I felt my friend's heart break. I know that this will definitely be hard for my friend to grasp, that she will not see her mother-n-law again on this earth, but I know that she is strong, and with lots of prayer, she will make it.
6. My friend's husband preached his mother's funeral. I never would've pictured him as a minister. Well, he's a fine one. I know that today, not only would he have made his mother so proud, but I know that he pleased Jesus as well. I was captivated by his words.
7. I have a new goal. When I am 112, I hope my sons can get up at my funeral and say things half as nice as my friend did for his mother today. It's made me think, what would people have to say about me at my funeral? That's kinda morbid, but hang in there. I mean, what legacy am I leaving? His mother left a legacy of love, she truly loved everyone. Even if I hadn't known her, I would've been convinced today simply by her son's words.
8. My friends have 2 children, who are both "buddies" with my Noah. Noah got to stay the night with them this summer, and he told me that he just loved being at their house. Everyone was so nice to him. Who ever would've known that someone I always had sleepovers with would have a son, and I would have one the same age, and they would stay the night with each other also?!?!? I keep forgetting I am old enough to have a son!!! Haha! Anyway, I told him last week that their grandmother is in Heaven now, and that sweet boy said, "Oh no mom, I have to pray for them. I know they are so sad." Perhaps I have already instilled a few good things in one of my sons like prayer and compassion.
9. Life is short. I've really always understood that. But, I do wonder why some people waste it so. I mean, not waste their lives, they live. But so many people do not live following the will of their Father. I know that I have imperfections and I know that God uses His ways to pull me closer to Him. I know that I have a whole Book, The Bible, God's Word, to use as an instruction manual, as comfort, and as inspiration. I know that it's who I am, it's Who's I am. I know that my God has never left me or forsaken me. I know that the Lord has plans for me. I know that I have never seen the righteous forsaken. I know that He is for me. I know that through His mercy and grace, I die daily to myself, and try my best to live wholly for Him. I know that Jesus lives and reigns. I know that I have been set free, and whom the Son has set free, is free indeed. And I am convinced that nothing will separate me from His love. I know all of this, do you?
10. Today, I have tons of emotions running through me. I cannot get my friends' grief off of my heart. My Pastor's Wife tells a story of how when she was sick in a hospital bed for 21 months, she would always pray for the morning to come, because joy comes in the morning. Then, in the morning, she'd wake up with the same symptoms and plagues from yesterday, and she'd pray for nighttime. And why did she pray for nighttime? Because after the nighttime was over, it would be morning and joy would come in the morning. Then one day, after all of those months, her joy began to come back, she was being healed, and little by little, she made it back from her darkest night. I know that this is a dark time for my friends, but I do know that they too will have morning.
11. Today, it was said that while his mother was passing from this life into the next, he knows that she left a legacy in him, and his siblings, and his children, and theirs. And that she will live on in their hearts, and in eternity.
It has been my goal to live on in Heaven eternally as well. So to her I'd say, "Brenda, this is not 'goodbye'............this is simply 'see ya later'!"