These last couple of days have been quite a whirlwind.
I spent my weekend in a Hospice center near the death bed of a precious woman, my great Aunt Dolly. Sadly, I did not have the opportunity of knowing her as well as I would have liked but the few times we visited her were always very sweet. My Dad was very close with her growing up and often shares fond memories and stories in relation to her and her family. She was more like a grandmother to him as his passed away when he was fairly young.
We reconnected with extended family from all over the place and it was wonderful being able to meet family whom I had never met before.
She passed into eternity early this morning.
Such a strange and indescribable thing to behold the death of someone. I witnessed so much love during these last few days as so many came around her and spoke sweetly of her humble posture, selflessness, ginormous heart and compassion. It was a privilege and an honor to witness such a beautiful passing and moments of solitude as well as singing and blessing. It was very humbling and reminded me of the last precious moments we were able to have with my Grandmother before she passed into eternity. They were so very difficult but beautiful and sweet all at the same time.
My heart and prayers go out to the immediate family at this time of loss and mourning.
My mom wrote a beautiful tribute in honor of Aunt Dolly that is going to be read at her funeral and I thought I would share it on here with all of you...
A Life Well Lived
I have spent the last few hours at the death bed of a saint.
There is most likley no place so holy or so precious.
There between this reality and the breath of heaven.
Is a peace so precious and strong.
I have witnessed a death surely approaching.
But a life so well lived that there are no regrets.
No words unspoken, No deeds undone.
No pangs of remorse, No qualms of conscience.
There is a light and sparke in her eyes.
A strength and urgency her grip.
She is so desperately still holding on.
Ignoring her pain.
Making sure each loved one is at ease with her passing.
A mother and a Matriarch to the very end.
Her large and loving family hold vigil.
And I can see she knows this is her Heritage.
Her gift to give the world, her life reproduced in her children.
It's beautiful, she's beautiful.
And humble, She has no real idea of her impact on generations to come.
Of Children, Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren who will,
because of her life, Her love and her example become the hope of new families and communities.
This is the real circle of life.
I know because you see, I married her nephew.
She probably doesn't even know her impact on he and his brothers lives.
And consequently mine and my own girls.
She didn't think of herself as a rock and a foundation for life but she was.
From the moment I met Keith I heard tales of 820 and "Grundy"
To three little boys from a Broken home "Grundy" became their ideal and hope.
It was a place of faith, Hope, Family, Hospitality and Love.
Where fathers didn't leave and mothers always put their children first.
Where there were always hot and happy mealtimes.
Values were taught, A place where Faith and Family and Country came first.
A place you were always welcome.
There would always be hot coffee and a tray of cookies.
Aunt Dolly would always hug and kiss you.
And sit and have a talk, and she really listened and she really cared.
Its so hard for them all to say goodbye I know.
But as I watch the beauty of her passing.
I know her secret. I can see it her beautiful, loving eyes.
Shes about to embark on the journey of a lifetime.
She knows she can go on in peace to her Savior and Her Sweetheart Uncle Bob.
Because she has fought the good fight, she has run her race,
And she has led a life to be proud of..... a life well lived.
-Darla M. Collins