Friday, November 23, 2012

Sincerity Like a Jewel

“Lois wore sincerity like a jewel,” said Jo. 

It was the loveliest and most original compliment I’d heard in a long time. Jo was her close friend and caretaker, and she was speaking at Lois’s memorial service. It was the first of two tributes to Lois that especially caught my ear.

I’d met Lois a few times but did not really know her. She was an anchor and a beloved matriarch to my friend Markell’s family, so I went to the service to support Markell.

During the celebration of her life, I learned that Lois had poured her energy into friendships, nieces and nephews, travel, teaching, and learning. She loved Jesus, loved her friends and family, and knew how to have fun. She was known for the twinkle in her eye and her laughter. Lois would call her friends, reaching out just to check on them and see how they were doing. She never stopped learning and growing, even in the last few years of her life.

Although Lois and the love of her life (Ed) were married for over fifty years, they were not able to have children. They were both teachers, and when they saw how much trouble other couples had adopting children, they decided to pour their energy into loners, their students, and other people in their lives.

As I’ve realized over the past several years that I won’t be having any children of my own, I’ve wondered what kind of influence I have. Don’t get me wrong – I love my two stepsons, and I happily claim them. (Not to mention that cutie-pie grandkid!) Still, Brandon and Wes were twenty-two and nearly seventeen, respectively, when Bill and I married. It’s not like I raised them. So when I see the pictures that my friends, cousins, and siblings post of their kiddos on Facebook, I sometimes wonder what effect my life has. A little voice in my head says, Who will miss me when I’m gone? Who will worry about me as I get old and feeble? Who will choose my nursing home, gosh darn it?!

Because no one has more impact on other people than a mother does on her children, I can be tempted to believe that because I’m not a mom, I have no influence, no effect, on other people, that what I do does not matter.

The celebration of Lois’s life reminded me that that’s not true. As I watched the slide show and video and listened to people speak, I thought, Look at all the lives Lois touched! Look at all she gave. . . .

In Luke 6:38, Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

Lois gave a lot, and she was loved and appreciated in return.

The second tribute that stayed with me was from my friend Markell, Lois’s niece. Markell said, “She is gone, but she left my cup full.” 

Now that’s a good way to go.

1 comment:

  1. Lisa,you are such a lovely writer. It goes with your lovely spirit! I immediately thought of Molly and the huge effect you had on her life... and then of the things you and I have shared and what your friendship has meant to me. I'm not a kid - but I am a child at heart.. so that counts, right? I know you have been a tremendous support to your sisters through some very rough times - and to your grandmother - and to many friends. And now... with Bill's family - the chance to be a mom and love his kids - and what an exciting opportunity you have with your granddaughter, to demonstrate loving and living peacefully on the planet. I personally am grateful for the difference you have made and continue to make - and I thank you for being YOU! - Lori