My grandfather’s brother’s wife passed away this past week.
I went to her funeral today.
It was the first funeral I’ve ever attended where tears were shed, by every single person in the room.
The room was large, and the tears that fell filled it.
This woman, my Aunt Betty, left a great impression on everyone she met.
I’ll never forget the way she looked at me with kindness, smiled at me with love, and affected me with genuine care. Even though my Aunt Betty had 10 children, and several more grandchildren, she still treated me like I was the only one in the room when she spoke to me. Her heart, and her smile, made me feel special.
I have to believe that every person in that room today had a similar experience with my Aunt Betty. I have to believe that every tear that fell held a similar memory.
She was a devoted grandmother to the young young boy who knew she’d read to him every time he requested a book.
She was a mother who “worked hard at loving all of her children,” according to one of them.
Her daughter found this poem, and read it to her before she passed away:
Aunt Betty held a torch. She held it when she married young, when she fought to marry the man she felt was worth fighting for. She held it when she lost that man several years ago. She held it even when she was ready to go.
She passed the torch this past week. She passed it to all of us.
We will do our best to love the way she loved, to look at people the way she did, and to make people feel as special as she made them feel.
2 Timothy 4:7-8