January 12, 2009
Yesterday, I went to the largest funeral I’ve ever had the privilege to attend. Crowd estimates are just under 1000 people. Yes, really, 1000 people.
Who has a funeral with that many people in attendance? Royalty, celebrity, heads of state? I would say that judging by the people who loved her, Angie Tinker was all of those things to us. Yet she was a humble grandmother in Middle Georgia who taught special needs children, directed a crisis pregnancy center and lived to play praise and worship music.
When you picture Angie, it’s hard to separate her from her keyboard, the one that her diminuitive frame barely peeked out over. Angie would be there behind the keyboard, playing for all she was worth, singing and lifting the name of Jesus literally any opportunity she had. It was fitting that her funeral reflected this love. The life of Praise left its mark on Angie.
When you picture Angie, it’s hard not to remember that elfin twinkle in her eyes and that little smile she always had ready. You couldn’t help but smile back, and if you didn’t, see would be quick to find out why. Angie loved people and she easily conveyed her genuine concern for you if she sensed anything wrong. If Angie knew you, she cared about you. It was just that simple for her. The life of Selflessness left its mark on Angie.
When you picture Angie, it’s especially hard not to see the family that she loved. Where you saw Angie, you saw John, her husband of thirty-three years. And, whenever possible, her children and grandchildren. The quiet strength that she passed on to her family was evident in the way they handled their grief and in how they dealt with others during this tragedy. The life lived in love of her family left its mark on Angie. But, it especially left its mark on her children.
When you picture Angie, it’s the most hard to picture her as gone. I’m glad that those of us in attendance yesterday share the hope of seeing her again. As much as it pains us now, none of us would wish her back from that experience of heavenly praise and worship. Well, maybe if we’re truthful, just for a minute….
For all my friends who knew Angie, here’s an opportunity to share your favorite memory. I will pass these on to John when he is out of ICU and share them with her children.
Or maybe, like me, you also want to reflect on what has left its mark on your life and what mark you are leaving on others.
August 27, 2008
**With apologies to Mark Twain**
Last Saturday morning I stumbled out of bed before the sun was up to get ready for work. It was one of those mornings that I wished that caffeine was still my friend. Little did I know that I was going to have an awakening that would rival caffeine.
My first hint that something was different that morning was that my dogs were not outside my bedroom door. A lot of times they sleep on the steps or outside our bedroom doors. Once my pack hears any movement, their tails start thumping on the walls and doors. Sounds like a persistent knocking on the door. When I leave the room, I have to herd them down the steps in front of me so I don’t take a tumble. After all, we are talking about two hundred plus pounds of dogs. When they get to the bottom of the steps they do this “ansy-dancey” prancing in anticipation of their morning breakfast while I walk down the steps.
I guess, being only half-awake, I failed to register the differences in the morning dog rituals. I was half-way down the steps before anything registered. This morning my dogs were already down the steps. And I was not the center of attention. My boxer mix, Duchess, was standing with her nose to the front door and her tail was going like crazy. The other two were watching her cautiously from a distance.
My first thought was that someone was at the front door. Then Duchess jumped.
Straight up. About two or three feet high.
Not a small feat for a seventy-pound dog with hip problems.
I stood stock still and watched. Duchess moved back a couple of steps. Then I saw it. A long, green frog leaping at the front door. Apparently even frogs know where to find the exit….
Duchess watched the frog make two or three more tries at the front door. Then she moved back in, hoping for a playmate. The frog didn’t see the possibility of fun and quickly scuttled behind the legs of a table in the foyer. The other two dogs just watched Duchess, their look saying “You’re on your own with this.”
I was now officially awake! Once I was past the initial shock, it all made sense. I guess for that to make sense to you, you’d have to know us to understand that the appearance of amphibians or reptiles in the house usually has a logical explanation. We won’t discuss the cricket invasion….
Logical explanation or not, that didn’t mean that I was going to try and capture the frog. I don’t do amphibians or reptiles. For further clarification of this see my previous post, https://dlkaufman.wordpress.com/2008/06/19/all-gods-creatures/
So, for help, I went to the number one frog source in the house, my oldest son. Sure enough, it was a friend’s frog. The questions rolled through my brain. A friend’s frog? Since when had we started boarding other people’s amphibians? Why was a friend’s frog loose in our house?
Now, as the mother of four children, I’ve learned never to ask questions unless I really want to know the answer. Considering the number of amphibians and reptiles (NO SNAKES) in my son’s room, I really didn’t want to know.
I like to sleep at night.
We did recapture the frog. Or rather, my son did. Duchess was out a new playmate, and the frog was safe once again. It was better than caffeine.
Sometimes life throws you something unexpected. Like frogs at the front door. Or jumping dogs.
Me, I just knew there was a logical explanation. I wish that was always my first reaction when life hands me more than frogs and jumping dogs. Unfortunately, I don’t always know the big picture in life.
And sometimes things more unexpected than a frog trying to make an exit occur.
That’s when I have to go to the source of ALL things: escaping frogs, jumping dogs, unpredictable people, life’s challenges. ALL things. I like it that God always has the big picture. Jumping dogs are never a surprise to him. Neither are the bigger things in life.
1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.