I have come to the conclusion I am getting older because the funerals I attend are beginning to outnumber the weddings I am invited too. Today I was at the thanksgiving service of a lovely lady called Lena.
(Yes I know I normally don’t name people but I’ve set the precedent before of naming the departed and somehow it seems fitting. Read Hanging by a Thread)
Lena was 93 and would have been 94 next week. We were born 50 years apart (minus 2 days). I always joked with her that we could share our 50th and 100th birthday parties.
Alas that is never to be, but I shall remember to toast her when I reach that milestone.
It’s amazing to think that if I live to the same ripe old age I am not yet half way through my life. I would love to think I will get to that age with all my faculties intact but more than that I hope I reach out to people in the same way Lena did.
She loved a good story, her tales were an inspiration.
I remember one day not long after Andrew had died we had a meeting at my house. We sat round the kitchen table and she started on a story…
She had been a teacher and for some of her career had worked in a rough neighbourhood where the girls she taught needed as much love and attention as they did schooling in reading and writing. She often enthralled us with stories from these hard times. But on this particular occasion her tale was about one of the teachers.
This teacher was a young woman with a child and one day her husband died unexpectedly. Lena had taken the girl under her wing in much the same way she did with her students. I can’t recall all of the story but eventually she had remarried, rebuilt her life and she still saw Lena weekly to take her shopping.
I was filling up at this and reached for the box of tissues.
Lena looked me in the eye and said, “I’m telling this story for you my dear.” I suppose it was her way of saying my life wasn’t over, that other people had shared my pain and that she knew what I was going through.
I’m starting to cry as I type. I wish I’d had more time to get to know her, to hear more of her stories and to drink in her wealth of knowledge.
At least I had the privilege to know this remarkable woman of God, even for a short time and for that I am forever thankful!