Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Guest Book

There are seasons of celebrations in life. There are bridal showers and weddings often followed by baby showers. Then the baby grows and the cycle starts again. First it was our own weddings and babies. Now it is our grown children we celebrate.

When our family had its first wedding last year, it was interesting to see the names in the guest book that are repeating over the generations, both family members and friends. We'll see many of those names again when the first grandbaby arrives years from now.

The celebrations of life continue as well, with an increasing frequency noticeable to me on the back side of fifty. A couple of years ago I helped celebrate the life of a dear friend who died suddenly. Two weeks after last year's wedding, family gathered again to honor and lay to rest my husband's father.

Last week I attended a client's funeral and was struck by how his widow, an elegant, gracious woman near eighty, had signed the guest book. On the first line was written simply, "me, my love."

It startled me, that poignant expression of a deep and enduring love. It reminded me of the importance of relationships. Aren't our relationships the only real, lasting things in our lives?

There are two types of eulogies. If a person was difficult in life, the eulogy focuses on the love and care given to the person, the place he held in the heart of his family and the family's belief in redemption at the end. If a person was successful in life, the eulogists acknowledge how much the person impacted the lives of those around him.

At my client's funeral, no one spoke of his financial wealth. Instead, they spoke of the relationships he had with God, his wife and his family. His son, my age, referring to the compliments he had received on his own family, said "I have a beautiful family because I had a wonderful father."

I hope my husband and children and family and friends will consider me successful when they're signing my last guest book.

1 comment:

jennifer said...

stop making me cry!!!! Don't forget guest books make me gringe.. hahahahahaha.. my mother in law makes me "sign in"...

Love reading these! Its a pleasure to have you in my life!