I went to a funeral yesterday. That is not an easy thing for me to do. But it is also an area where I push myself for a couple of reasons. One to show the family that I do care but also to show repect and honor that persons life especially if it affected mine somewhere along the line and this one did. I slipped into the back of the crowd as the service started and as I gazed around, I wondered how many people there were there that I recognized or that recognized me. The years do seem to change people.
So, now, in the middle of the night, I find myself wide awake thinking of this lady and her family and feel the need to put some of it down in writing if for anything so I can go back to sleep.
Her name was Dorothy DePue. But I knew her and will always remember her as Mrs. DePue. I can't say that I was a close friend but I always respected her and loved her. She was a woman who always showed some very great characteristics. She was confident, proud, and caring (Her caring was in a strong way. When she told you something, you knew that she meant it out of love, but doggone it, you better be listening). I always admired her and felt that she was the glue in her family. She married a tough old bird in Earl and I equally admired how she got him to church.
As a youth, I was always afraid of Earl but as I got to know him better as an adult, I came to love and respect him also. I oftened wondered if he had changed or if it was me. And if it was her influence that made that change.
I stopped and talked to Earl after the service. He looked up at me and said, "Alot of people loved her, didnt they?". "Yes, they sure did.", I replied. I felt the deep pain that he was going through and knew that he would much rather be with her than sit out there in with all those people around him. But in typical Earl fashion, he didnt talk about his problems.
Now, as typical with me, my thoughts come in the middle of the night when I seem to process people and events which in turn has me usually staring up at the ceiling.
I realize that life is like a race. But winning is not the important thing. The important thing is how we run the race. That is your legacy. We all stumble and fall from time to time along the way but we have a choice. To get back up and get back in the race or to just crawl towards the finish line often times mired down in self pity and despair.
Somehow, I envision Mrs. DePue at that finish line, her arms raised high with a big smile on her face. She ran a good race and now will wait for Earl to be by her side again. Well done.