It sure has been a rough week! A rough 3 weeks, actually. Turmoil and strife in our nation – and our world – continues to weigh us down. I admit, I have experienced many waves of overwhelming worry and sorrow. I have instituted periodic “mental health breaks” from all my social media apps and news reports in an attempt to breathe, and regroup. I recommend it. There’s really only so much we can take.
A shout out this morning to everyone in Northern California effected by the Oroville Dam crises – you are in my prayers for safety, and a positive outcome!
Recently I had the opportunity to sing for a funeral. As I drove there, my stress level was so high I felt physically ill. It was hard to go. But, my reward was a gift of solace, and healing.
A Little Touch of Heaven
There are some places where the veil between heaven and earth is very thin, and pure peace can be felt. Some of those places for me include inside the LDS temple, on the top of a mountain, or under a canopy of trees. I also find that same peace in funeral services; a solemn celebration of a life well lived. A funeral is a sacred ceremony, where we take time to pause, escape the world, and ponder higher things. A funeral also has a way of reminding us of what really matters, and putting everything into proper perspective.
On Saturday January 28, 2017 we bid farewell to a beautiful lady named Verna who endured her many trials to the very end with amazing grace. She raised seven children alone after losing her husband in a tragic accident. Just three years later, Verna suffered another huge loss, when she was paralyzed due to a surgical procedure. For the next twenty-eight years she was bound to a wheelchair.
And yet, Verna never complained. She always turned the focus of any conversation away from herself and back to others. She loved hearing the personal stories of everyone she met. When she lost the ability to write, her gift for remembering details became legendary. Not only could she remember the events of your life and where you’d left off during the last conversation, she also committed to memory each person’s birthday and anniversary date, and all of the corresponding phone numbers – so that she could give a personal call on your special day. She memorized hundreds – perhaps even thousands – of dates and numbers – not just for family members, but also for her caregivers, friends and acquaintances.
And she never missed.
A poem was shared during this service that I found inspirational. I have been unable to find the author, but I felt it was worth sharing.
She Listened, and She Loved
When life’s final breath
Has passed my lips
And plans are made to lay me
In the ground,
These are the words I hope will be said of me.
And, in coming years, when some small glimpse
Through melody or memory
Drifts across your thoughts,
I would that
“She listened and she loved”
Will be the better part
Of your remembrance.
And when time has passed
And we two once again
Smile into each other’s eyes,
And love hangs fiercely
In the air between us,
And when all else has turned
Except the sweet yesterdays
My dream and hope and wish
That you will look at me
“You listened, and you loved.”
– Author Unknown
On a completely unrelated note – but one I’m sure Verna would thoroughly enjoy – here are a few belated stories I missed telling you about:
Groundhog Day! Groundhog Day!
Thursday February 2nd: Arguably one of the most odd American “holidays”[which isn’t really a holiday at all], February 2nd is the day we pretend each year that a giant rodent predicts how much winter we have left, depending on whether he sees his shadow [6 More Weeks of Winter], or he does not see his shadow [Spring will arrive early]. It is also the subject of one of the most enduring movies of all time.
Of course, Phil saw his shadow last week. Apparently, that means we are stuck with 6 more weeks of dark mornings, snowy streets, frozen sidewalks, and bitter winds [unless you live in a place that doesn’t ever have these things – which is just wrong].
Hang in there, and keep the faith! The good news is that despite the dark and dreariness, Spring always comes.
Happy Birthday Daughter Bee!
Sunday February 5th: Our beautiful “Baby B” turned Twenty-Three. She is as beautiful on the inside as the outside. We have loved watching her successful progress balancing her busy work and school schedule this past year.
The candles, like the years, just keep growing and glowing…and she’s such a blessing.
Running For Love
Saturday Feb. 11th: Family and friends participated in the annual “Valentine 5K Race” with me. A heavy rain hit our area the night before the race, but we were blessed with clean blue sky and chilly, but not-too-cold temperatures. A fun, happy event. And my brother even won 3rd Place in his division!
Let us all strive to be a little more like Verna today – focusing outward, looking upward, and listening with love. – MoSop