“Would any of you like to say something at the service?”
The pastor looked around at us.
I knew what my answer would be. There were lots of things that I wanted to say about about my mom—but there was no way that I thought I could actually get the words out, and not just end up standing up at the podium, crying my eyes out.
( I know –this goes against my general reputation of being dead inside. :))
My sister had asked me to write up a little something, to fill out the back of the memorial service bulletin. She gave me an example of something she had seen at a friend’s funeral.
I wrote. But it was far too long for the back of the bulletin.
I suggested we edit it down (even though I didn’t really want to :)).
Or (I said) maybe we should do a bulletin insert, and leave it the length that it was.
My sisters agreed to it.
The baby of the family got her way, again. :)
As I re-read later what I had written for mom’s service, I realized that perhaps it could appear that we all thought Mom was perfect, or a better person than most, or something.
Mom had her faults.
She could be stubborn. I can remember the set of her chin and mouth when she was unwilling to concede a point.
She could be sharp with her words with my dad. I remember her asking me to pray for her in this regard. (His not being able to hear her, in spite of his hearing aids, and her frustration with this, seemed to be a common irritant for both of them.)
She had her down days, contrary to her usual positive nature.
But she was generous. She loved celebrations and birthdays, and celebrated her own birthday with her friends the entire month of April. She was interested in her kids’ and grandkids’ activities, and tried to continue to connect with adult grandkids–even when it was more difficult than when they were little kids, running around at grandpa and grandma’s house. She gave visitors to her church homemade bread (well, made from frozen bread dough purchased at the supermarket. And laughed and enjoyed it when people asked for her “recipe”).
She showed people Christ, in her, every day. His perfection shone through the cracks in her “jar of clay”, and pointed people to Him.
Even though I didn’t get up and speak at her memorial, I got to say most everything I wanted to say–through the bulletin insert, and through this.
Except for this last thing: my mom was a special person, and one of my best friends.
I am going to miss her. A lot.
I am thankful that this is only goodbye for a little while.
The following is what I wrote for Mom’s memorial service insert.
Dee had a joy that the Lord gave her, and it spilled out naturally to those around her. Her positive attitude was a light to everyone around her.
Psalm 118:24—This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
Nehemiah 8:10—The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Psalm 30: 5—Weeping may tarry for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Dee was a great encourager, and always was urging us all on, no matter what difficulty we might find ourselves in.
Isaiah 35:3—Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble.
1 Thessalonians 5:11—Encourage one another and build each other up.
Proverbs 17:22—A joyful heart is good medicine.
Dee was a hard worker with a can-do attitude. She not only helped Arn get into the rental business, but started and successfully ran two businesses (preschool and daycares), which helped put their kids through college, as well as supplementing her and Arn’s generous giving.
Prov. 31:16; 20, 27-28—She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard…She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy….She looks well to the ways of her household and dos not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.
Dee’s creativity was a reflection of her Creator. Whether it was in decorating her home, doing crafts, flower gardening, playing the piano, or writing her monthly e-mails to friends and family, she poured out beauty, and glorified her Lord through all of it.
Colossians 3:17—And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Dee’s faith in her strong Redeemer kept her close to his side. She was a woman of prayer and the Word. Throughout her life, in the midst of the normal trials and joys, as well as the deeper suffering of cancer, she was steadfast and persevering, holding steady to the hope of Jesus.
Isaiah 43:1-3—Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Romans 8:37-39—No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels not rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of Dee’s life, in all of ours.