Today has been an interesting day for me. Yes, it's Valentine's Day (at least for another 30 minutes and probably less by the time I'm finished) but that's not the reason it's been interesting. It's because I attended the funeral for the mother of one of my best friends.
Her death was anticipated several months before it happened as she waged an unsuccessful battle against ovarian cancer, but even if death is expected that doesn't make it easier for those left behind. It was also doubly difficult for my friend because she lost her father to cancer 9 years ago, before she even graduated from high school. I came to my parents' house in Idaho so I could be here to support her, but I'm still left wondering what in the world you can say to someone who has just lost their second parent. I want to be supportive and let her know I'm here for her, as I've tried to do since she told me what was going on, but it's hard to know what to say or do. I guess the real answer is to just keep being a good friend.
Aside from that, I've also been thinking about life in general. I've thought about how I can't even comprehend what it would be like to be my age and not have either of my parents. A lump forms in my throat at the very idea, and I hope that I never have to find out.
As I listened to the talks given about this wonderful mother, sister, aunt and friend today, I was reflecting on my own life. I thought about the person I have been, the person I am now and most of all the person I want to become. This lady left behind a life of such great faith, love, testimony, service and humor that I was inspired listening to the stories of her life. I admired her for the person she was, and I'm sure still is. And I wanted to emulate her example.
I started thinking about what people could say about me if I were to die tomorrow, (I'm definitely not planning to, but I was at a funeral so these thoughts tend to cross your mind) and I realized that I have a long ways to go to become a person as inherently good as this lady. However, she's also got about 30 years, as well as a long life as a mother and life companion, on me, so the comparison isn't entirely fair. Let's just say that I've recommitted myself to living a good life and working harder to serve those around me. Service is something that I have been sadly lacking as of late, but I'm going to fix that!
I just have to keep the goal in mind and always do my best. I also need to remember that no matter how good of a person I may be, there are always going to be times when I'm not as good as I should be or when I make mistakes. But I have to be patient with myself and understand that once I realize I'm straying from the path, I just need to work harder to do even better because that's what living a good life is all about.