Today, April 6, 2018, I am going to try something you may think is weird.
I want to write a prehumous eulogy. (I made that word up, prehumous.) I want to imagine standing in a church and publically thanking God for one of my oldest and best friends, even though she has not died.
Yeah, weird, but here goes.
I read this quote years ago, Pope Someone said, something like this: “It is better to give your children the gift of siblings than piano lessons.”
I can’t thank God enough for the gift of my little sister.
I first met her sixty-two years ago — which of course I don’t remember because I was only four. For ten years, we shared a bedroom in six or seven different houses. I still have those wooden twin beds. If bedposts could talk, hmmm. . .
My sister from the time she was tiny (and she was always tiny) hated bugs and getting dirty and hurting anyone. And she loved giggling and singing and serving everyone.
I don’t have clear memories of when we were little, but she would tell me – and it showed in the old family movies – the essence of our relationship was this: her copying me. Dancing in our homemade Halloween costumes or running down a sandy beach with saggy hand-me-down swimsuits; of course, the little sister was always looking up to me and doing whatever I said. No matter if I ignored her, or treated her badly, she would forgive. Always.
One time – after we were grown – I hurt her deeply. Her counselor advised her to cut off communication with me for a season. Months later, when we were together, I admitted my wrong-doing, and told her emphatically: No matter what happens, you cannot divorce your sister.
We forgave us. Over and over.
One of the rare purely-happy days of my life happened six months later. Her wedding day. She’d waited a long time to meet her match, and I was thrilled. We grew closer helping each other learn to cherish our husbands.
Most of our adult lives we have lived far apart, but God kept us connected. When I broke my leg, she dropped her life and came to be my live-in maid for a week. She was a special aunt for my daughters, always interested in the stories of their lives. A cheerleader. A loyal, compassionate friend. Also known for her skill of imaginative worry. :o) But it is her loving-kindness we will all remember.
In her home there is an art piece with the following quote:
“Only God could say what this new Spirit gradually forming in you will be. Give our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete …. Above all, trust in the slow work of God.”
In some ways my sister did not have an easy life. Like all of us, she had her struggles. But I saw the sure, slow work of God in her. Forming her. Freeing her.
I will miss sharing life with her. I will miss laughing with her. I will miss singing with her.
And I will really miss watching the slow work of God in her.
Thank you, Lord, for the great gift of my sister.
Well, I did it. Eulogy written. I hope I don’t need it for a very, very long time.
Happy Birthday, dear sister! I love you.