Sunday, December 27, 2009

A life of purpose

"What is their purpose, what do they live for?"

That question was part of the eulogy at the funeral Mass I attended for Aunt Agatha yesterday. It was asked by her grandson, Brian, who is in the nursing home industry and was a paraphrasing of something he gets asked often by people who wonder about the lives of the elderly, especially those who have buried their spouses and friends. By way of explanation Brian summed up the purpose of all of our lives...

Speaking of his grandmother, Brian recalled the stacks of well-worn prayer books, devotional leaflets, and holy cards on the end table next to Aunt Agatha's chair and on the nightstand next to her bed. He told of the time when Aunt Agatha told him that she prayed every day for her children, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, her nieces and nephews, cousins, other family members and loved ones, both living and dead. He went on to say what an honor it was to have known that there was someone who felt that their purpose in life was to pray for him. And what a gift.

Have you remembered to pray for your loved ones, today?

Oh, and Aunt Agatha wasn't really my aunt. She's my friend Marlon's aunt, but for as long as I've known her I've called her Aunt Agatha. I'll miss her terribly, and I'll think of her each time I get in my car and see the worn spot on the passenger's headrest. The car I drive used to belong to Aunt Agatha and Uncle Joe. It's nice to have such a tangible reminder of her--and of her life's purpose.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul, and the souls of all the faithfully departed, rest in peace.


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