I’m proud of us. I’m proud of where we came from and where we’re going. I’m proud of us for sticking together even though together may look a little different than it once did. I’m proud of us for persevering.
We’re stronger than we once were and even still we’re growing stronger day by day. We’ve been tested and tried and we’ve come through to the other side. We’ve endured and we continue to endure because that’s who we are and that’s what she taught us.
We’ve come a long way since the day we stood together and said goodbye to the woman who made us who we are, the woman who held us all together; our rock, our hearts, our strength, our all in all.
We’ve continued living even when life didn’t seem to have meaning. We’ve continued loving even through the hurt. We’ve continued on as a family even when the bad days seemed to outnumber the good. We’ve carried on and we will continue to carry on.
We must remember that day three years ago as we stood together and sang over the woman who sang over us countless times in our lives. We must remember that she rejoiced over us, she comforted us and she always stood by us. We must remember the legacy that she left is found in each of us, it continues on in the way we live our lives. Generation after generation the love, the strength, the wisdom, the faithfulness – it all carries on. What she left us is us; it is who we are today because of whom she was. We must always take that with us into everything we do and everywhere we go and we must always remember the choice we made three years ago; the choice we made to bless the God who gives and takes away. To bless the God who chose in His infinite wisdom and omniscience to call home our wife, our mother, our grandmother, our great-grandmother.
We chose to declare that whatever may pass and whatever lies before us, we will continue to bless the one who gives and the one who takes away. To continue standing as our world was crumbling around us. To pick up the baton of faith that our Barbara passed on to us so that one day we too may pass the baton to the next generation. We chose to yield to God’s sovereignty and trust that His plans are always good and fruitful and just. We chose to submit to God’s will and to carry on. “Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes. Bless the Lord O my soul, O my soul and worship His holy name. Sing like never before O my soul I’ll worship His holy name.”
Three years later as I reflect on the events of that day and the days after, another song comes to mind. A song of hope and resilience, a song that exemplifies our family and grandma’s legacy.
“This world has nothing for me. This life is not my own. I know You go before me and I am not alone. This mountain rises higher. The way seems so unclear. But I know that You go with me so I will never fear. I will trust in You. Whatever will come our way. Through fire or pouring rain. We won’t be shaken. No we won’t be shaken. Whatever tomorrow brings together we’ll rise and sing that we won’t be shaken no we won’t be shaken. You know my every longing you’ve heard my every prayer you’ve held me in my weakness cause You are always there. So I’ll stand in full surrender it’s Your way and not my own. My mind is set on nothing less than You and You alone. I will not be moved. Whatever will come our way through fire or pouring rain we won’t be shaken no we won’t be shaken. Whatever tomorrow brings together we’ll rise and sing that we won’t be shaken. No we won’t be shaken. We will trust in You. We will not be moved. We will trust in You and we won’t be shaken.”
I love you all,