I write today in honor of Sue…my friend, my teaching colleague, my spiritual mom. My heart is heavy because she has gone home to heaven, and I will miss her. My heart is happy because of the positive impact she has left behind.
Sue’s children and grandchildren honored her with a beautiful visitation and service. The visitation ended with a time of sharing memories. Many people shared times of happiness, love, and giving that Sue had role-modeled for all of us. Friends and family shared funny stories, sad stories, stories of Sue’s unwavering faith. And they shared stories of Sue’s smile and positive, always positive, attitude!
I wanted to stand and share. I give presentations all the time; sometimes to over one-hundred people at a time. Do you think I could stand and share at Sue’s visitation? No!
I was too afraid. Too scared I’d break down and cry in front of all those people who were there. I wanted to share the same memory I shared on the Hartquist Funeral webpage…
Sue was the Godliest woman I knew. I had so many chats with her since her classroom was right next to mine. She was always there for me when I needed to visit about anything in life. One of my favorite memories of Sue at Brown Elementary School was when we had the same prep time together. While I would be eating something in the teacher’s lounge, Sue would come in there to rest. She would put a spoon in her hand; lay her head back on the lovely orange couch and close her eyes. When that spoon dropped out of her hand, it would hit the floor with a ‘CLANG’ which was like an alarm clock going off and it would wake Sue from her power nap. She would be rejuvenated and off she would go with a bounce in her step. This put a smile on the faces of all who taught with Sue.
Sue’s service was heartwarming. The whole service was lovingly led by her grandchildren. They shared memories, sang songs, played the guitar, and read scriptures all to honor their Grandma! Sue’s positive influence on those grandkids was evident.
Sue’s oldest son shared the eulogy. He said that he thinks of four “L’s” when he remembers his mom: she was a leader, a learner, a listener, and a lover.
- Leader: Sue was a positive leader for the many students who had her in fourth grade. Furthermore, Sue led many people to Christ.
- Learner: Sue was willing to learn. She was almost 79 and was on Facebook and she loved using the iPad.
- Listener: Sue was a listener. She stopped what she was doing and she actively listened to what others had to say. After she intently listened, her four favorite words to whoever she was listening to would be “Let’s pray about it.”
- Lover: Sue was a lover. She loved people more than anything. She emulated that love by her actions…opening her home for others, hosting bible studies, making time to have coffee, being involved in ATLAS, Aglow, Sagio, PEO, and many other organizations.
I wanted to raise my hand and tell her son that he forgot one important “L.”
- Light: Sue was a light. Her contagious smile and positive outlook on life would light up every place she went! Sue was a light for her students, for her friends, and for her family!
Sue’s celebration of life has caused me to sit back and reflect. Reflect on my own life. What will I be remembered for? What have I done to positively impact others? Do I generously share a smile with others? Do I openly share my faith? Do I truly listen when spoken to? If I were given a time of remembrance, what would others share in my memory? Would they share anything at all?
I have a picture hanging on the wall in my office that reads:
“One hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much I had in my bank account, or what kind of clothes I wore. But the world may be a better place because I was important in the life of a child.” ~Forest Witcraft
The words on this picture have new meaning for me now! Thinking of Sue and the person I hope I have been and will continue to be, I have changed the last two words:
“But the world may be a better place because I was important in the life of people.”
I hope to be remembered for my effervescent personality. My positive attitude. My enthusiasm for learning and life. My passion and love for people. I hope to clothe myself in the 5 “L’s” like Sue did because I honestly believe those five “L’s” are some of the most important gifts we can give to each other!
Thank you, Sue, for touching my life in such a positive way. You will be missed!
How about you? How do YOU want to be remembered after you leave this Earth?
More to come on living and grieving with focus on children so stop back for Part II…