Long before she entered her final illness, mom planned her funeral. It was her way of still being in control, even though she would be noticeably absent from the memorial service. It was her choice to be cremated, so not even an embalmed body in a flower-festooned casket was in evidence. But she did have one final trick she wanted to play on those of us gathered to honor her well-lived and lengthy life.
She recorded a message to be played at the end of the service. It effectively gave her the last word at her pre-planned event. What follows is her script in 14 point Times New Roman bolded and with plenty of space between the lines to make it easier for her to read. It took her three attempts to get it right so that no distracting glitches would mar her final performance.
When the message was played, it had its desired effect. People were surprised to hear her voice, but they also enjoyed this fitting demonstration of her will to entertain while keeping everyone informed about her life and – ultimately – her death.
And with this web log post I will say good-bye to my time of indulging in what C. S. Lewis termed A Grief Observed. The events since mom’s passing have prompted memories of other such losses I have endured. And now it is time to look forward again, although current events are hardly any less depressing than writing about the death of a parent. So let’s agree to look for hope in the midst of the despair plaguing our beloved country.
Mom would want it that way.
Dear Family and Friends…
Please don’t be anxious because I’m talking to you; I know that
hearing my voice will be unexpected! But I just wanted to remind you that
I am a child of the King, and I am with my Savior even now as you are
listening to this!
The Scripture in Psalms 71, verses 9, 12, 17 and 18 is about growing
old. I have certainly fulfilled that requirement to claim these verses.
Verse 9 – Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me
not when my strength faileth.
This verse doesn’t disturb me because I went forward in church when
I was in the 5th grade. I then belonged to Jesus.
Verse 12 – Oh God, be not far from me; Oh, my God,
make haste for my help.
I only have to say His name, because He is already there.
Verse 17 – Oh God, thou hast taught me from my youth
and hitherto have I declared Thy wondrous works.
This next one I readily embrace:
Verse 18 – Now also when I am old and grey-headed, Oh God,
forsake me not until I have shown thy strength unto this
generation and Thy power to everyone that is to come.
This is for my sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and my
nieces and nephews. You all are to carry on the legacy my Mother, in a
quiet and loving way, instilled in us all; that is to trust Christ Jesus and live
for Him daily. The last words my mother spoke before she died was “my
wonderful children and my wonderful grandchildren.”
My passing from this earth marks the end of my generation,
but each of you has the opportunity to carry on this legacy for your
Loved ones, please BE FAITHFUL to your heritage – faith in our Lord
Jesus Christ and a life dedicated to Him.
And one more thing: please don’t mourn for me. (I say this with a
smile on my face!) – Just miss me!