Just got back from another funeral, this time an old schoolmate's mom. And I had to go to this one.
I haven't seen Mary in at least 20 years, but I've always loved her. I spent many an afternoon at her house when I was a teenager; on my 15th birthday, she gave me this bit of advice:
Your own canoe
I wrote in my journal, but I didn't have to, as it was engraved in my heart. And I remembered it throughout some of my toughest and lowest times.
Mary was an old-school Irish Catholic--I loved her for her no-nonsense attitude as well as her staunch and steadfast faith. She made me feel like I had worth and importance, and when the priest today said that everyone has a role to play, I am in debt to Mary for the very positive and uplifting role she played in my life.
She has done her job and has been called back to heaven. I'm sure she had a VIP pass waiting for her at the gates.
God speed, Mary. And thank you--for everything.