Today I attended a funeral for an old friend–old both ways. Betty was 90 when she passed away last week, and my friendship with her started in 1989. We worked together for a little over three years and in those years she was the closest thing to a grandmother that I had (my one grandmother died when I was five and I have few memories of her).
The priest gave a very short message before her son spoke. You may have heard it before, but it bears repeating. He spoke about the fact that when you look at a gravestone, you see two dates separated by a hyphen. While the dates are somewhat important, the truly big stuff lies in that hyphen. Our whole lives lie in that little hyphen. Her son Curt spoke about that hyphen; he filled in the details. Hers was a life well and fully lived. Although a Catholic by birth, later in life she attended a bible-teaching church and came to love the Lord. I believe I’ll see her someday, which is why there were no tears today. I hadn’t seen her in many years–she had moved to a different state to live first with her daughter and then in a nursing home when the Alzheimer’s became too advanced. My memories of her are from about 8 years ago, before the downhill trek happened. I’m glad. I know she’s been made perfect and whole and is worshiping the Lord in Spirit and in truth and, best of all, in person.