Yesterday, I went to a funeral for a beautiful woman.
Her husband got up in front of everyone at the funeral and shared beautiful stories about their life together. I loved the stories. I loved the light in his eyes as he shared the stories. I'll never be able to adequately convey the magic I felt as I listened to him recount their life, but I'm going to try because I think it's important.
He told about how there was a time when he was working two jobs: one at the mine and the other at the sugar beet factory. Instead of complaining that she never got to see him, she got a job at the sugar beet factory so she could work alongside him.
He talked about working as a roofer. One day he looked down and saw her sitting in the car working on a quilt. She just wanted to be close to him. The next thing he knew, she was up on the roof. The car wasn't close enough, she said.
And then she picked up a hammer and helped him finish nailing down the shingles so they could go home and enjoy their evening together. One time while they were roofing, he slipped and fell off the roof. He got up and climbed up the ladder, she asked--"How'd you get down?" He said, "I took a short cut."
I love how her sweet husband told these stories. The stories betrayed their trust in one another, their respect for one another, and their confidence in their life together. He shared about the conversation they had after learning that she couldn't have any more children. She said, "How will I teach my babies how to take care of babies?" They decided to sleep on the question. The next morning, she told him that she had her answer. "We're going to be foster parents!" And so they became foster parents, so she could teach her babies how to care for babies. They eventually adopted one of their foster children and all five of their children stood up and shared stories about how much they loved their mother.
I was mesmerized. She lived an enchanting life. Not because it was easy, but because she did what she loved with people she loved.
Today, I am grateful for the inspiring life of Janice Ruth Parry Cowdell. I feel brave today. I feel like her life stories teach me to love, and to go after the things I love with confidence. I want to live an enlightened life doing the things I love with the people that I love. Everyday, I'm getting closer.