The first funeral was on Saturday. Katie's friend lost his grandfather. The little boy had texted her a few days after Christmas asking her to have a playdate, but she had been sick. She responded the next day and said when she was well, she could come over. He called a short while later and told her his grandfather had passed away that morning. The service was held at St. Mary's. Katie not only attended, the family included her in the program as one of the children carrying the gifts to the front of the cathedral. She walked in with the family, and when I saw her, I noticed she was walking with her friend, and holding his hand. She sat next to him throughout the funeral, helped him kneel, stand, and sit when appropriate. The love and care she displayed at the tender age of 9 was something I will always remember about her. Katie is a fun-loving and happy child, but she also has a tremendous capacity to love. She has a nurturing heart, and she loves deeply.
The second service we attended was this morning. The gentleman was the father of one of Mr. C's childhood friends. This man was a father of five, and a grandfather. They did a 10-minute slide presentation of photos from his life. What a beautiful life it was. I saw photos of the man and his wife, with his children, and with his grandchildren. Always a smile on his face, never afraid of being silly. In fact, the photos people responded to the most were the funny ones. Having never met this man, I was surprised that I became teary-eyed several times.
As I listened to the pastor's eulogy, he made a statement that really hit me,
"Every one of us will eventually be in the same place this man is - people will pay their respects to our families, and they will remember each of us."
Wow. Talk about a wake-up call. I have often heard people comment on how they'd like to be remembered...but is that how they WILL be remembered? I'd like to be remembered as young, vibrant, beautiful, and thin - but I am none of those so that is not going to happen. However, I feel I am joyful, caring, loving, and happy - and hopefully others see that in me, and will remember those things. I left the service determined to really focus on the qualities I want my children to think of when they think of me.
I also know some areas I need to improve. I am an introvert. I need alone-time to recharge. I don't do well in groups because I get so nervous, and I don't reach out to my friends as often as I should. It isn't that I don't think of them (I do - all the time), or that I don't want to spend time with them, but I fail miserably at keeping in touch, and scheduling visits. We, as a couple, don't socialize enough with others. This is a big area I need to work on. I love so deeply, but I fail at putting that into action.
My One Little Word for 2015 is SHINE. My goal is to shine physically, spiritually, and in my friendships. I want for the ones most dear to me to know they are loved and valued.
I am taking steps to make this happen.
Physically: I set up a session with a trainer at the gym today. I am going to get back into shape, and get my back strengthened again.
Spiritually: I am always working on this. My back issues have prohibited me from attending church regularly (the pews KILL my back), so I feel I am losing touch with my faith. I am going to get back to a regular schedule of study and prayer.
Friendships: I am going to make a better effort at keeping in touch, whether it be sending a card, a short electronic note, a visit, or a phone call. My goal is to contact at least two friends each week for this entire year. And they can't all be the same friends. It may be that I send a PM to someone who made me smile via something they put on FB, or someone who inspires me. It may not even be someone I know personally (we can all use a little pat on the back occasionally, right?). I just want to reach out and let them know they have touched me in some way.
Happy 2015, my friends. I think it is going to be a great year.