Today was a somber day for us, but it's a good kind of somber, I think. Last Sunday one of our dear family friends, Mrs. Elsie Law, flew away to her Saviour's side. She had been a faithful servant of Christ, devoted pastor's wife, longsuffering widowed mother of two, a pillar of the church, and a part of our family for many many years, going back to when she was a youth counselor and Sunday School teacher for my parents when they were kids. She was wise, calm, confident, opinionated -- and more than a little mischievous! My last memory of her is just last year when I went to visit Seattle: I was kind of lamenting the high expectations my parents have on a future wife for me, and she patted my hand and said, "Well, you just tell them that you're the one getting married, not them, and it's your decision!" Wow, I hadn't expected that!
My dad was asked to share some remembrances on behalf of all her friends, but he's away in the mainland right now in his ministries, so my mom shared, and I translated from Mandarin into English. I snuck in this photo while Elder Hu made some closing statements; there were probably over 700 people there, but you can't see them from this point of view from our front-row seats. It was refreshing and comforting to be back in the company of the church I grew up in, but our time was short to catch up with old friends, and our conversations were subdued.
Considerably fewer people came to the short graveside service afterward, but I thought it was beautiful. The weather was just perfect, I thought, for a funeral -- patches of sun and cloud, windy, with a bit of chill in the air, the trees bare but the grass still green, and the leaves blowing around us on the open hillside. Not a day for much laughter or joking, but a very good day, a day for reflection and thanksgiving.