Today I attended the funeral of a friend. Like so many, she passed on too soon for too many of us, but after the years of illness it is ourselves we pity, not her. She has gone to her Lord, for which everyone who loved her is thankful. A family friend read out the eulogies from her husband and daughters and she did it most beautifully, bringing back to all of us, I think, the impish vivacity of C. when she was in her full health.
C. had grace in adversity, and boy! has that family had adversity. She was a glass-half-full person. When she had to start using a motorised wheel-chair to get around she was told off for whizzing up and down the corridors of the nursing home. One time, between her enthusiasm and my ineptitude we managed to get the chair (with her in it) wedged in the corner of the bathroom and laughed so hard we were crying (...note- we weren't aiming for the bathroom in the first place...) When she could no longer drive I used to collect her and we'd go places- grocery shopping, just shopping, to the beach, to the pub for coffee. On our return her husband would ask, 'so what happened this time?' and guess what! there was always a story!
I think its the measure of a person when they make a dent in ones life, when they help one see things from a different angle, when they listen with wisdom, without judging and yet without compromising their own ideals, when they don't let their illness define them but laugh and tell stories and encourage friends to do likewise, when even bed-ridden they can uplift others.
C. was special, I knew it when I met her, I know it still. And I am blessed to have shared in her too short journey, her grace, wisdom, wicked sense of humour and shoes with yellow soles!