By Tracy Lee
Special to the Sun
I received a call early this morning, it was a friend of mine. She said her sister had died and needed me to come to pick her up. I usually don’t accompany first calls anymore. I have staff members who are responsible for that task. I spend most of my time working with the family, planning their services or finalizing the details, and directing their wishes for burial services or cremation.
My friend is so dear to me though, that my husband and I accompanied our staff to Alice’s house to comfort her and see to every detail for her. Alice used to own a store in town, and when my mother and aunt lived here, Alice’s store was their favorite place to shop. Mostly they liked Alice, but she also had some good shopping for them, and they enjoyed their time visiting with her.
Alice is a woman who is dedicated to others. She is too elderly to work her shop anymore, so she has sold it. The new vendor is a sign shop, so unless you need a sign, shopping in Alice’s old store is no longer very appealing.
Alice is a woman who serves others. Even though she now uses a walker, Alice continues to serve others who are weaker than herself. She serves them through physical, emotional, and psychological support. She is an amazing woman, and I am very honored that we are friends.
Alice is a woman who understands business. She is always willing to share her knowledge with anyone who is opening a business, or who owns a business that might need some fine-tuning. She is a wealth of information and kindness.
As I entered Alice’s home, I noticed it was full of very reverent and polite family members. It was spotless, large, and inviting. It is located on a very prominent hill leading into town with a beautiful and well-maintained landscape. I have admired her home as my favorite ever since I moved back to Texas. I often wonder how she keeps that steep hill so well-groomed.
When I arrived at Alice’s home, she invited me into the bedroom where her sweet sister was lying. She wanted to show me how angelic Mary L. looked, and how she had placed her hand over her heart as she took her last breath. It was a serene and heavenly scene. One that touched my heart very deeply. Alice leaned forward and kissed her sister’s forehead. As she did she began to sob over the loss of her dear sister. Alice’s love and devotion were openly and honestly displayed.
This is not the first funeral that Alice has asked me to direct for her. We have a history together. Alice loves deeply and very sweetly. Her love is epic, her care is impeccable, and Alice expects nothing less from me.
God has blessed me with a friend who is a virtuous woman (Proverbs 31: 10-31), and I thank Him for her.
Alice assured me that she knew I would be praying for her tonight. She was right. I pray for her often. A person like Alice doesn’t just walk into your life every day. When she does, your knees should hit the carpet and your appreciation should rise toward heaven.
I will do all that I can over the next week to ensure that Alice’s wishes are closely followed for her sister’s burial. I am honored to carry out the task. I will keep in close contact with Alice over the next year to ensure that she is recovering from her loss. She deserves that. She has suffered other significant losses and she may need support over this one.
I love Alice. I am thankful for her friendship, kindness, and influence in my life. She has shown me how one shares the blessings of grace, labor, and charity (1Cor 13:13) with others. My friend Alice is a gift from heaven. She is a blessing greater than rubies and I treasure every moment that I have with her.
I hope you have a friend like Alice. Everyone deserves to have an Alice to bless them and to emulate. Even those who are difficult and unkind deserve the love and peaceful calmness she brings their way.