In the middle of our daily schedules, God's timing can unexpectedly bring family together to celebrate the life of one of it's precious ones. Annie Ruth, Terry's first cousin, passed away suddenly this past Wednesday from a massive stroke. Her family asked him to come and speak words to the large Bell / Pohl clan. Terry's been "grounded" the past three months with a broken heel and bulging discs -- so with us tag-teaming the driving and the approaching Spring Break for me-- we were able to attend
Having all the cousins together for Ann's memorial, was something rare for us since we have always lived far away from family. Annie Ruth was 12 years older than Terry and his earliest memories of her were coming to help his family when his mother was recovering from a surgery. Many people there spoke of that spirit of helpfulness. That was her nature -- so nurturing and willing to help. She went on to become a nurse and carried that giving spirit through life --dearly loving her four children and scores of nieces and nephews, caring for lots of folk, and loving her animals.
As Terry spoke first to his cousins, then to their children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren. His pervading theme was "she came to help"- from Jesus words about the widow who gave all her resources, having done what she could. He challenged them to adopt that same mission in order to create a life of simplicity and significance by helping others. He spoke of those who'd gone before them who sacrificed, worked hard and attained the good life of deep family relationships meaningful work.
He shared Jesus message of life and resurrection and spoke to the source of comfort that Jesus is to us having survived his own death preparing a place for us.
His words seemed to resonate with so many who came to speak with him afterward about what he had to say.
It brought to mind two things:
. . . how very quickly life is passing and
. . .what an impact two people can make on the generations --
Two country folk married in 1901-- a 16 year-old girl to a 40 yr.-old rancher who raised 10 children -- during the depression on the sand hills of TX -- in what we would call poverty --raised them to be strong teachers and soldiers and athletes and businessmen . . . some 200+ descendants now including great-great- grandchildren.
As Terry gave the eulogy for Ann, I couldn't help but think how two lives lived well can impact so many other lives and accomplish so much - I'd been in this family for forty years --and I realized how time has flown and thought how many family traits had been passed down from these two people -- Grandma Annie's faith and Papa's love for education -- (He often moved his family so his children could attend school, serving on the School Board in several little villages.).
|Spring in South Texas brings lots of Bluebonnets--|
It was a renewal moment for me -- a re-purpose time to make every day special with my dear ones -- letting them know how very deeply they are loved.
This Deuteronomy passage came to mind. . .
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.