My daughter went to a memorial service tonight for a 20 year old friend who passed away suddenly. Tomorrow I will be going to a memorial service for an 84 year old friend who passed away after the long, slow decline of Alzheimer’s. I wrote yesterday about the young and today I am writing about the old.
My elderly friend, of course, was once a younger woman. She was my Sunday School teacher and the leader of Girl’s Auxiliary in my church. She was one of many who helped me grow in my faith. She was always there, always serving. She had a daughter of her own, but she loved all of us girls. She also loved to talk on the phone. If you called her, you had to do it when you had a lot of time on your hands, because there was no way you’d get off the phone without a l-l-o-o-o-n-n-n-g-g conversation. When I got married, she and two other women at my church gave me a shower and helped my mother with the rehearsal dinner and reception.
She and her husband became good friends of my mom and dad when they were all retired. They would go out to eat and even take short trips together. When her husband got cancer, she was a loving caretaker. After he passed away, she moved to Tennessee and lived near her daughter. They would come back to visit a few times every year. But it’s been a long time now since one of those visits.
Tomorrow we will remember and celebrate a life well-lived, an unselfish life, and a happy life. We will remember faith and family and friends, and how these are the center of life. We will be reminded to find ways to serve others, to love our family and friends well and always. To cherish the beautiful mind and the power to think, remember, and relate to others. To live fully the days we have, because…
No matter the number of years… Life. is. short.