I attended my first memorial service this week. Yes, my first ever. It's not that I've never known anyone who's passed away before, it's just that when you more every 6 months-2 years the better part of your life, people usually die in other states and you can't just up and leave.
One of my coworkers Dad's passed away recently and since I work at a small office, we all attended. The service was incredible. Both an honor and testament to his life on earth and a celebration of the eternity he will spend in heaven. There's a lot I could say about the service but what I really wanted to share with you was what stuck out to me, and what has followed me through the hours since.
The first person who got up to share memories of Mr. Woods was one of his oldest friends. I forget now exactly how long they'd been friends but I want to say it was close to 60 years. It was a lifelong friendship, literally. This man was precious and I cried as he got choked up. He shared briefly about what a dedicated friend Mr. Woods had been. He said you would never find a better friend or a more generous man. He gave examples from the time Mr. Woods gave someone his own car and then continued to pay the maintenance on it, 'because they needed one' to the time he saved this sweet man's life. He was loyal, devoted, and willing.
I have thought constantly since then about what kind of friend I am and if at my memorial service someday there will be someone who will testify on my behalf that way. Would my closest friends say those things about me? Will I be remembered as generous, kind, faithful, loyal, and loving?
I'm somewhat tempted after this week to start going to strangers memorial services because I'm fascinated by the concept of legacy. That the way we live our lives, day in and day out, leaves an impression. How we handle the small things, how we tackle the mundane, it matters.
Later that same night I was catching up with my sweet friend Daniel, who lives in Texas now. We were comparing thoughts on a book called ' A Million Miles in a Thousand Years' which talks about how we are each writing the stories of our lives. That idea has continued to come up again and again the past few weeks for me. I feel like this may be in prep to enter a season of change in my relationships and perhaps in my life.
It was an honor to celebrate the life of an incredible man, who's remembered for being a loyal and loving husband, father, and friend. I hope to leave an equally powerful legacy of my own someday.