Yesterday I attended the funeral of a lady who has been part of my life since I was nine years old. She ended up being there 'by default' I guess, being the mother of my Dads 'new wife' (now married a happy 38 years).
As children, my brother and I would always go and visit her (and her husband) when we stayed with our Dad and stepmother, and visits often centred around a shared meal, and watching sport on TV. I couldn't stand the sport, but it was on in the background, and I was happy enough with a book, or doing one of the puzzles that were always on standby for us. She took great interest in what I did, and as I grew into adulthood and later had my own children, both 'grandies' have been integral in our visits to that part of the world,
As stories were related at the funeral it became even more apparent that she was a much loved member of her community, with many friends and extended family coming to pay tribute. In an especially moving tribute, my sister spoke of the dedicated Nana, ever listening and sharing advice and thoughts. My daughter shared the memories of her visits and the special activities always part of those visits.
The story of her life was a relatively simple one - small, some might say - in that life revolved around family, the house, and church. Some travel in early years, owning businesses that put her and GrandieT in the heart of their communities, but no grand gestures or 'huge legacies' that needed highlighting at the service.
And therein was the true value of this lady. . She was whip smart, dedicated to staying up to date with current affairs (and loved to talk about them), She simply did life, cared for the people that crossed her path, and made a difference to those closest to her.
Great stories, fond memories, strong connections. At the end of it all surely is what all of us aspire to have. It was a life well lived.