The memorial service this weekend was very, very beautiful. The pastor gave the eulogy and although she flubbed a few names, I/we did overlook this given the great job she did on the full presentation. I met my great Aunt ten years ago when she was in her eighties. So, for me, her life was specific to her elderly years however, after hearing from other family and friends, she led a very consistent life up until the very end. She was one of the greatest women and greatest Christians I'd ever met and hearing how she lived a life faithful to Christ was very inspirational.
Right before she died, she'd mailed a birthday present to her great-granddaughter. She'd mailed her monthly church tithe, and left instructions that when she died, her son should pay the remaining tithe amount for the calendar year. She never spoke badly about anyone, and although I'm sure she had her judgments, she never expressed them to me and no one claimed any different. She was for me, the grandmother I never had, someone so pure in heart, she was an archetype for the ideal woman, gentle, kind, loving. The pastor quoted her favorite biblical passage in Micah 6:8, "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
I had a great conversation with my second cousin's cousin (you wouldn't believe the distant familial connections in that house) and told him that during the service, I couldn't help but think about my own funeral and what people would say about me. He said he was thinking the same thing. It's one thing to admire and revel in the great faith and love shown by another person but I think it's appropriate to feel compelled to follow her good example.
But, in thinking about how I might do this, I've paused many times to ask if this is even possible? My great Aunt was a child of the Depression, did not go to college, married young, didn't work after her marriage or in her widowhood. I don't think she ever traveled much beyond Alabama. She was a product of her geography, her family, and her generation. Could someone like me, ambitious, restless, worldly, Gen Y, showy, even hope to aspire to be like my great Aunt?