December 16, 2009

Out of the Mouth of Babes

My sister's mother-in-law recently passed away. She was 98 years old and will be greatly missed. Having outlived all of her friends, the family didn't expect a lot of people to attend so they chose to have a small memorial rather than a formal funeral service. It proved to make the gathering far more intimate and touching.

Jimmy stayed home with Dani who was ill, so I went to the funeral home alone. Promptly greeted by my sister, she led me to the front of the chapel to a beautiful collage of pictures representing Marie's life. We giggled and gawked over how silly we looked in years past and marveling at how our children have grown. She showed me the bouquet of flowers that sat next to the urn and two special hand-made cards constructed by my grandniece and grandnephew. After a time of visiting with all who were in attendance, the group sat quietly in the sanctuary. Then, with the great ease and authority, my grandniece (Olivia age 7) walked to the podium in order to explain her card which was on display behind glass.

Olivia's Card
Olivia explained that in the picture her great grandma is in heaven
looking down on her son and his wife saying, "It's ok. I am in heaven."
I was fascinated that she drew a line between heaven and earth,
naturally understanding the divided.

Then Calvin, her 5 year old brother, approached the podium and explained his card on display next to hers.

Calvin's Card
Writing to his grandpa he penned,
"Imsoree da yr momdieed."
(I'm sorry your mom died.)

Olivia and Calvin bravely and proudly
speaking at the podium.
After the great grandchildren spoke, Marie's son, daugther-in-law, and grandchildren shared as well. It was a humble ceremony void of any pomp and circumstance, somehow making it extra special. A simple, quiet, hard-working woman honored for her life and service to family left me pondering King Solomon's summary of our purpose in life in Ecclesiastes 12:13, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."

It also brought to mind the priceless value little children hold in the heart of God...

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me,

and do not hinder them,

for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Matthew 19:14

1 comment:

Cheryl Barker said...

Out of the mouths of babes...

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, Nancy!