Friday, February 25, 2011

Mom's Eulogy

My Mother 
     Voyle Gladys Herzog Bassett   
          Died on Feb 18, 2011.  

This is the Eulogy 
     I read at her funeral.

I know that God loves me because he made me her son.
I love my Mom and she loves me.

 (Just think about that for a moment) 
I will share a song with you,  by Mindy Gledhill. It means a great deal to me. 

So many Faces
Travel the length
Of a mind that is racing
To trace back the memories
Of time gone by

Oh and the distance
Between all the bridges
Of instances when
I have wanted to change
This heart of mine

Have I blown all my chances to be?
Less like the captive and more like the free?
And more like the innocent child in me?
And maybe just a little more like thee?

Here in the spaces
Between all the lines
Of a life that has wasted
The essence of time
I close my eyes
And picture a place
Where the Sum of all Grace
Is extending a hand
To erase all the shame
From this worn out face

Have I blown all the my chances
Less like the captive and more like the free?
And more like the innocent child in me?
And maybe just a little more …a whole lot more.

Like the hands that redeem me
That lifts and relieves me
Though roads I have taken in vain. 

Have I blown all my chances to be
Less like the captive and more like the free?
And more like the innocent child in me?
And maybe just a little more like thee?
 (Mindy Gledhill,  A little more like thee)

About a year ago my Mothers sister’s Colleen Wildman died.  A few days after Collens' funeral i begain a journey with my mom .  I knew that my mother would not be on Earth here with me much longer.  I wanted to relieve myself of the burden of the anger and resentment I have carried for too long.  The single greatest desire I have felt in my heart since I discovered the Fruit of the Gospel is to have my family share it with me.  I have often wondered if my mother would feel the gentle stirrings in her soul.   I began to weigh the cost of choosing another woman to be my mother and determined that the cost was not one I was willing to bear.  I truly believe that we are part a great family that spreads back to Adam and Eve.  Generations of woman have nurtured fought and died to build this family. I decided to sit down and have a talk with my mother.  My wife has been urging me to do this for more then a decade.  I told my Mom that, as a parent I understood some of her actions, as a child I still felt hurt and angry.

My mother has tried, for years, to reach out to her children, to make amends.  By the time she understand her actions and the effects it had on her children, it seamed too late.  She was trapped physically, by a combination of obesity and diabetes.

By The Law of Atonement, I am required me to repent of my sins.

  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (Romans 3:23-24,
American King James Version)

Transgression: Violation or breaking of a commandment or law.

Sin: To commit sin is to willfully disobey God's commandments or to fail to act righteously despite a knowledge of the truth (see James 4:17).

We all carry the burden of sin.

You Offer Me Grace,
I will offer you Mercy.

Mercy is the ability I will have to help carry your load when I have grown stronger.

Grace is the space I need to grow from where I am now, to where he, Jesus Christ, wants me to be.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profits me nothing.  Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity braggs not itself, is not puffed up,  Does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil;  Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;  Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Charity never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  And now stays faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. 

(1 Corinthians 13, American King James Version)

Charity is the pure love of Christ.

My nephew Fridy Leishman asks my wife, Bonnie, why we live in imperfect families.  My mother’s family is the basic definition of dysfunctional.  We are an unlikely family to hold together in a crisis.  Why are such imperfect people clinging together?  He then answered his question.  It is because need each other. 

I believe, we left a perfect family in Heaven to come to an imperfect family on earth because we needed more.
What is our responsibility now that we are on Earth?  We must help to carry each others burdens

I see a vision of two large rooms, full of people.  In the first room there is a group of people who were hungry and in need of nourishment.  In the middle of the room their sit’s a great pot full of food.  They have only one problem; the eating utensils are longer then their arms.  Not one of them is able to dip his or her eating utensil in the pot and feed themselves.  In the second room there is a group of well feed, happy and joyful people.  Both rooms were decorated the same.  Both rooms contained the same furniture.  Both rooms had the same pot of food and both rooms contained the same eating utensils.   The only difference is in the second room the people are taking a moment to feed each other.  We need to take the time to feed each other.

look to the future
there is no tommorow

Love is a choice,
not a feeling

carry anothers burden,
it will ease yours

when you are hungry
feed another  

that ye may be forgiven

offer Mercy
as you seek Grace

(This is the first poem that I wrote)