I remember when my mother passed away in 2000 and being at her funeral service. I knew this woman who had raised me, fed me and worked tirelessly to give her children what they needed.
I knew she was a giving woman who would help a stranger without a second thought. What I did not realize was just how much of an impact she had on so many peoples lives.
As I gathered with my father and brothers and sister the chapel began to fill. First with many familiar faces of friends and family some I had not seen in many years. I had been to other funerals over the years and allmost all of them had a pretty good turn out to say goodbye to the departed or support the families.
What I was not expecting while I sat there that day with my Dad was the shear numbers of people who I did not know, faces continued to pile into to the little chapel until it was lietrally overflowing. The minister began and ended with the usual sentiments about the departed and then asked if anyone would like to speak.
We have all been there for those awkward moments when no one wants to start right? Well that lasted for about 10 seconds when a young lady stood up, someone I did not know and started to talk about my mother having saved her life and supported her with love, kindness and new clothes when she was just a child and how that had forever changed her and her outlook on life.
Then suddenly people were standing by the dozens waiting to share their story about how my mother had been a major influence in their lives. When it was over, I was left feeling stunned for not realizing the impact my mother had made on so many lives that I was completly unaware of.
Later that day as we were leaving the service, my best friend remarked to me “Wow I have never seen so many people stand up for anyone like that”
I remember talking to my Dad about this that evening after things quieted down and how I felt about my ignorance of all the people mom had helped. With his head slightly bowed, he looked up at me and smiled and said ” Son, I was married to the woman for 43 years and I did not always know what she was up to. That was your mom, quietly going about her day and finding folks who needed a hand in one way or another, it was her gift”
I would like to share another story about an extraordinary person written from a members perspective. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Check it out here.