In mid-September, Paul and I went to meet with our doula (birthing coach). When we got there, we were introduced to this lady named Joan (pronounced jo-ann). An elderly lady, she was once a member of our church but had since moved into her dream house in a small mountain town. She had recently been hospitalized and was having to stay in the city due to health reasons, but she was antsy to get back to her home. She was hoping to head back within the next day or two.
We had a delightful conversation. This was our first time meeting, but she had remembered me from singing at the church, which was so sweet. I played Mary in a Christmas play and she mentioned that. We talked about being pregnant and the differences between giving birth today and giving birth when she had children. No drugs whatsoever. All natural. I told her that I was thankful for my option for the drugs. We just had a pretty instant connection. As I chatted with her, Diane (our doula) and Paul waited for me to finish my conversation so we could begin talking about our birthing process.
When we left, I went to her room to say goodbye. She was looking out the window very longingly and you could sense her desire to be somewhere else. Though she loved the family that she was staying with, it wasn't her home and that was where she wanted to be. On September 30th, I was entering the hospital to deliver my son and she was entering the hospital because she had taken a turn for the worse. Today, I sang at her memorial service.
'Honored' is not a strong enough word to describe how I felt when I received the call on Friday and told that she specifically asked for me to sing at her service. But 'honored' is the best that the English language has given me. It got me to thinking about how much we affect the people we come into contact with everyday, be it positively or negatively. I'm sure I've impacted people negatively, but today I was shown that I had made an impact in such a positive manner that I was thought of in this woman's preparations for her final celebration on this earth.
I sat in her memorial service and watched the people she had touched. She led a beautiful life and you could see it in the tears that were shed for their loss. Her family put together a slideshow of her life, beginning at 4 months of age to her last year. She was in her 70's and had led a very rich and full life. It was also a life devoted to Christ. She touched my heart on that morning in September and she inspired me today.
I want to live a life of impact. Where the love of Christ can be evident in the way I live, both here and now and after I go home to be with the Lord. Not for my sake or my own name, but for His.