For those of you who weren’t aware, my grandmother became pretty ill on July 3, and passed away on July 8. I’ve been at home with family for the last week dealing with the loss and taking care of business. Thank you for your prayers and for your encouragement during this time. I was initially placed on the program to make remarks at my grandmother’s funeral, which was yesterday, but there was a sudden change; and I was removed from the program. Here are the remarks that I had written:
I have been instructed, encouraged, and strongly admonished to be brief in these remarks. I’ll contend that these remarks will be, as a woman’s skirt, long enough to be appropriate, yet short enough to keep your attention.
On this day, it is extremely difficult to find enough words to truly express what my grandmother, Mrs. Mildred Eleanor Roberts Davis has meant to us.
I believe my grandmother to be a truly phenomenal woman. She lived a full life of conviction and purpose. Not without her own faults, as we all have, she used everyday as I believe that God would want us all to do: as a chance to start afresh at what He has set out for us to do.
My grandmother taught me a great deal about life. Most importantly, she taught me about being proud of your family; about who you are and where you come from. I’m sure that most of you have witnessed this—as she was always speaking proudly of the things that were being accomplished within her family. I’m quite certain that more of you know more about me than I could possibly know about you—but that was the type of woman that she was. Very proud of each of us, and she wanted to share that joy with you.
My grandmother also taught me about what it meant to serve others. Even as her health declined, she still found ways to give of herself- whether it was her time, her waning energy, or her joy. I am thoroughly amazed at the variety of avenues that she found to serve others; working in this church, in her community with the food bank, or taking time to help educate young people; either within her profession, or through the summer day camp that she conducted at this church for years with my late grandfather.
Today is the day that we get to truly celebrate the well-lived life of Mrs. Mildred Eleanor Roberts Davis. On this day, we give praise to you for your encouragement, as you guided us with love and nurtured us with your caring spirit.
On this day, we give praise to you for teaching us that mediocrity was never acceptable, as you pushed us outside of our comfort zones into worlds that we could have never imagined for ourselves.
On this day, we give praise to you, for demonstrating to us that we are never too old to accomplish our dreams, and for showing us that there is absolutely no substitute for faith in God and tenacity to work at what He sets our hearts to do.
On this day, we give praise to you for the battles you fought and the sacrifices you made so that we could live lives that we had never imagined for ourselves, but that you dreamed of for us.
On this day, we give praise to you for dedicating your life to encouraging precocious and excited young people who just needed an opportunity to exhibit their talents and intelligence to the world.
To our loved ones and friends from far and near- we thank you for your prayers, your cards, your visits, and your calls. All have encouraged and uplifted us in this time. To those who are here today, we thank you for joining us as we celebrate this woman whom we all loved so very much.
To my family, I believe that my grandmother would want us to be encouraged by the following verses from Colossians 2:2-5:
“My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in who are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.”
It is my hope that each of us will be comforted by the knowledge that my grandmother was a great servant for the Lord, and that she has been reunited with him. I believe that she anxiously awaits the day that we can each be reunited with her. It is my sincere prayer that we follow in the words of Paul as he speaks to the believers in Thessalonica, saying in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, 16 “Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing…be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Let us stay close to each other, and even closer to God in this time which is difficult for each of us.