Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Perfect Tribute

This afternoon my husband and I stood in a long line waiting to enter the local funeral home for the viewing of a friend. The corner where the funeral home is located looked like an intersection of a busy city, not a residential area of our small, quiet town. Cars were backed up waiting for parking spaces. The street was swarming with people, gathering in small groups telling stories about our friend.

The person we were all there to honor was Brenda who was killed as the result of the choices made by a drunk driver. Brenda, who has worked for many years in the housekeeping department at our local hospital, was one of those people you'd expect to have with you for a long time. She was one of the kindest, friendliest and most generous and loving people I have known. Her fellow hospital workers, former patients and countless others who knew and loved Brenda, moved along in a slow moving line to pay their respects.

When we reached the viewing room inside the funeral home. We filed past an unusual tribute to Brenda. Amongst the family pictures of her with her kids and grand kids, there were several items that gave you an idea of what was important in her life. There was a rolling pin and a few jars of her recently canned vegetables, a bottle of her favorite perfume, her ID tag from the hospital, and a wooden cross, to name a few. Each item was carefully arranged and each one told a story.

It reminds me once again how precious life is and how we are all affected by the lives of one another. Brenda was not one that stood out in the community in a public way, but in a quiet and personal way, she touched so many. She didn't seek attention, but she gave it and received it, quietly.

The length of the line of those waiting to say good-bye spoke volumes, and in typical Brenda style, without a lot of show.

The memory of her will be a sweet one.

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