A few weeks ago, I went to a funeral service for a very dear acquaintance of mine whom I liked and respected a lot. I met her at an job interview for my first real job, working as a tutor at the high school I graduated from. She had enough faith in me, a then eighteen year old recent high school graduate to trust me with a new position where I managed my time and assignment without much supervision. I liked and admired a lot of things about her. Her classic appearance and her classy demeanor, her ways of showing courtesy and care, her optimism, her professionalism and ability to lead, and most of all, I respected her for being so grounded and for cherishing relationships. You see, for the last five years she held a very high position of an HR director at one of the biggest districts around here. Her office was always open for people to swing by and say high. She did not become a snob. She was always very accessible for people to come in and have a chat with her. She took the time out of her busy schedule to do things like attend weddings of very small people like my sister and I and write notes of encouragement and congratulations to many. She died after loosing a long battle with breast cancer. She was 52 years of old, shy a couple of years for retirement. She definitely left too early.
As I was listening to family, friends and colleagues speak at her funeral service, my respect and love for her only strengthened. I kept looking at an enlarged picture of her in disbelief that this person will no longer walk the halls of the district office, spend time with her children, or kiss the love of her life. She will not be able to enjoy retirement that have been beefed up with savings from the last 28 years of working in education. Her humor will no longer amuse and comfort her loved ones.
Mortality. What a strange concept. How is it possible for a person to one day plan, think, create, love, care, sympathize, and not exist the next?
This funeral service came about a week after my side of the family got together at my elderly grandparents' house to take group pictures. My grandfather is 95 and my grandmother is 87. They have been married for over sixty years. Their bodies and minds are fragile and they spend their days walking or sitting around my aunts house. I was thinking of them during the funeral service. My grandparents have definitely reached the end of their lives here on Earth. Having lived such long lives, mortality seems suiting, natural, if not desirable. As I write this, they have lived a month longer than my friend and continue to live. They, who have nothing more to offer to the society, or their families and who are so limited in their physical and mental abilities to even get to a nearby park.
Why do some die before their time and others continue to live is a question only God can answer. But the reality of mortality only strengthens my believe in the eternal life that must follow after our flesh can no longer sustain us here, on Earth. I hope and pray, that this time comes after I have lived to the fullest, watched my great grandchildren serve the Lord, made a difference or two in someone's life, brought someone to Christ and am able to then command those that survive me to throw a big party in honor of my life and departure.