We, as a family, had the unpleasant misfortune of attending two funerals today.
The first funeral of the day was that of Jack Cook, age 12. Jack is the little brother of one of Anna’s friends from neighborhood. Additionally, Linda and his mother have been very good friends for at least 10 years. Jack unfortunately died in his sleep from a medical condition that was unknown. It was truly a shock to hear of his passing.
It was amazing to see the funeral home overflowing with friends and family; the parking lot was so full that people were parking in adjoining business parking lots. Several adults and young people spoke during the funeral, each giving testament to the love and life that Jack gave to everyone who knew him. I was reminded that we mourning the things that will never be for Jack, but we were clearly celebrating an amazing life that he lived to the fullest.
Our hearts go out to the Cook family. As a father, I shudder at the thought of having to attend the funeral of one of my children.
Then, later this afternoon, we joined others at a memorial service to celebrate the life of “Miss Nina”. Nina Molleson, age 88, was the dance teacher for both our girls. They started taking from Miss Nina when they were only 3 years old. I wrote of Miss Nina’s passing about a month ago. She had informed the girls towards the end of the spring classes that she was sick and wasn’t sure if she’d be able to teach in the fall, but she would do all she could to be there. Three weeks after the spring recital, we received word that she had died. I found out today that even those close to her didn’t even know how sick she was – she was that strong of a woman who never relaxed her poise.
Miss Nina was extra special for our family. Despite having taught dance for 65 years, she never seemed out-of-touch to the young girls. In fact, she was very instrumental in teaching them grace, manners, and how to be a young lady. The girls may have learned dance steps, but they learned much more from her. As the very full room of people testified, Miss Nina was a major force in many lives. There were tears, but they were tears of joy and true celebration for an amazing life lived. If only we could all aspire to live the life that Miss Nina gave.
It was a bit odd attending the funerals of a 12-year-old and an 88-year-old in the span of 5 hours, but it was so good to see how two people touched the lives of so many. It made me stop and think about my family and how much I love them. I can only hope that I have touched half as many lives.
Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord
And let perpetual light shine upon them!