As I said in my last post, I was MIA for a couple of days in order to attend the memorial service for a dear friend. Annette was the mother of one of my best friends in the world (my almost-brother, really), and she was a close friend of my mother’s. So my mom and I flew back to our home town to say goodbye to her, to celebrate her amazing life, and to comfort the ones she left behind (including ourselves).
Annette was beautiful in absolutely every way (oh, those sparkling, sapphire-blue eyes!). She had a brilliant mind, a gentle spirit, a heart absolutely spilling over with grace (the meaning of the name Annette? “Full of grace.”) The most beautiful thing about her–the very thing that made those blue eyes sparkle–was her love for the Lord, which spilled over into love for everyone else. I know that she is thrilled to be with Jesus this very minute. I don’t have any idea what people talk about when they get to heaven, but I’m fairly certain that Annette and my Daddy were tickled to see one another when she arrived.
Still, there is great sadness. It is an odd thing to fully experience deep, enduring sorrow for the loss of a friend, and yet, at the same time, experience deep, genuine joy for their vastly improved circumstances. Neither one negates the other. The grief and the joy coexist–they do not cancel each other out.
The morning of her death, Annette’s family found a scrap of paper on her desk. These were the words that Annette had written:
“To obey is my desire. To serve is my duty. To die is my glory.”
She lived these words every day of her 72 years, and every life she touched is better for it.