Tuesday, June 21, 2011

End of the story

We ended up flying home for another funeral last Saturday. We're pretty tired of it honestly. This is our third funeral in under twelve months. But, it's family. You have to be there. Much as I didn't want to sometimes, for this particular funeral I really had to be there. Mamaw died at age 88 while driving to the store for dog food. The details are unclear, but they involve an 18 wheeler and anecdotal evidence that she might have had a heart attack or something before the accident. Anyone's who's read my old blog knows just how much Mamaw meant to me. She treated me like close kin. There's a lot I could share about Mamaw, but for now I just wanted to share one thought that occurred to me while we were busy saying goodbye. Funerals are a chance of us to hone in on the end of the story - to read the last couple chapters and find out just what we were seeing all these years. As my professor pointed out, when you open Othello it looks like a comedy, but it ends as a tragedy. Without the end it's hard to understand the beginning. At Mamaw's funeral I saw the end of a story that more people should be writing. She loved God and loved people and poured out her life blessing everyone around her. She was a saint with crooked teeth and a garden patch and a hug you'd be happy to drive a hundred miles for who went out and mended fences and loved me more than just about anyone I've ever known. So many times we see only a small portion of someone's life, and it's hard to know where they're going. At all the funerals we've been going to these past months, we've gotten to see just how all those actions and intentions played out. They all three of them told a story of love and faithfulness, hard work, cheerful endurance and unending gratitude. Seeing how those stories unfolded and pronouncing the final "amen" over their graves gives us a nudge to evaluate how our own characters are unfolding, and for that we can be thankful. To see the end and be about to change our own beginnings is a great blessing.

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