Friday, February 11, 2011

What can I take from this woman?

Last week I attended a funeral for a woman I had never met. I went because I know and work with two of her daughters. I've known them for years, and I worked closely with one of them - day in and day out on the same project - for months and months and months.

The service was beautiful and filled with many Catholic traditions, pageantry, and nuances that, not being of that or any faith, I didn't fully understand. I can appreciate them, though, because I knew that they were of comfort to this woman during her life and they seemed to comfort her family, my friends, as well.

Since I'm actually a pretty busy person, my down time is usually pretty short and often involves me completely zoned out. This service actually gave me a chance to take some time to really reflect on my life as I listened to the words of the priest.

"What am I going to take from this experience? How can I see the light? What did this person have that I can keep partly for myself and partly share with love?"

Mrs. Jimenez: Although I didn't know you, I know that you raised beautiful daughters. They are both giving, willing, and honest people. I have learned how to speak with a soft voice when necessary and when to kick it up a notch to really have some fun. I have learned potty training tricks. I have learned generosity in the form of a package (or three) of pull-ups, a surprise smoothie, a kind word, and an offer to help. I have learned that everybody can - and should - be listened to. I have learned that women are always prettier when they are walking out of a restroom than when they walked in, but the secret lies not in lotions or make-up but the verbal and emotional exchange that happens with other women while in front of the mirror. I have learned that parents DO survive twin toddlers. I have learned that family bonds can weather almost any storm. Mrs. Jimenez, I have learned that you knew what you were doing when you raised those girls! Thank you for sharing them with me.

The other part of the service that really struck me was the Lord's Prayer. I've heard it hundreds of times, but on this day, one part really hit me in the gut, and I must admit, it hurt a little... I'm paraphrasing here, but "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others" or whatever it is.

Basically, I suck at forgiveness. I don't know why, and I don't know why it's harder for me to forgive some people than others. It's stupid, too, because I know that by not forgiving I am simply perpetuating a feeling or emotion that will bother and hurt me as it eats away at my heart.

This one is a biggie...

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