Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Friday, 2017.12.15
You already have zero privacy, get over it.

		Scott McNealy, President, Sun Microsystems

2003.02.14

Farewells and Tributes

Said goodbye to my Grandmother this week, Lucile D. B. Engel. At 95, she finished her work here last Friday morning and set sail for the after-life. I made the drive from Denver to Sioux Falls for the funeral. While I had seen bunches of people die in the various nursing homes I’ve worked in and seen people die in hospitals, TV ER style, surrounded by a tornado of disposable medical supplies and everybody shouting (where’s the peace in that?), this was the first member of my family I’d ever seen where the light had left. And Grandma has a tremendous light. She suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with legendary grace and humor.

The Funeral itself was most curious. After the service, the procession made it’s way to St. Michael Cemetery where the wind must have been gusting to about 40 mph. “Well, Father”, I said to the priest, “Grandma picked a fine day to set sail for Heaven. With this wind at her back, she’ll be their in no time.” But the weather changed faster than a Rocky Mountain spring snow storm. In about 5 minutes, the clouds moved in and temperature dropped 20 degrees. It was now the kind of wind that bites right through your coat. On the drive back, the clouds broke for a small space and direct sunlight blazed through. “Grandma made it.”, said my Aunt Bev. Farewell, Grandma, where ever you fare. I love you.

The tribute goes to my Aunt Beverly for her dedication in taking care of Grandma and making her as comfortable as possible right up to Grandma’s last breath. I know how difficult it is to support someone struggling with long term health issues – whether critical illness or old age. It’s much more then sponging someone’s forehead and saying “There, there. It’s going to be all right.” It’s the battles with the care facility, the health care workers, the insurance companies, the government, the pharmacists. It’s the errands, the late night calls, cooking meals and cleaning (laundry, dishes, house and baths). With all I know she did, Aunt Bev still felt she was so very fortunate to be with her mother and take care of her. Aunt Bev truly loved Grandma and I would venture to say it is this love that made all her efforts possible. I know this love and can recognize it in others. Aunt Bev caries a truly brilliant light. While she would never acknowledge this, her service to Grandma reflects this light and makes the beauty of her soul visible to the rest of us. Thank you, Aunt Bev. I love you, too.

So, I’ll close with a few “Think about it’s” sent forward by Aunt Bev:

  • I love you not because of who you are, but because of who I am when I am with you.

  • No man or woman is worth your tears, and the one who is, won’t make you cry.

  • Just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to, doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

  • A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.

  • Never frown, even when you are sad, because you never know who is falling in love with your smile.

  • To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.

  • Don’t waste your time on a man or woman, who isn’t willing to waste their time on you.

  • Maybe God wants us to meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one, so that when we finally meet the person, we will know how to be grateful.

  • Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened.

  • There’s always going to be people that hurt you so what you have to do is keep on trusting and just be more careful about who you trust next time around.

  • Make yourself a better person and know who you are before you try and know someone else and expect them to know you.

  • Don’t try so hard, the best things come when you least expect them to.