Monday, 30 December 2013
Eleanor Louise Borneman Henry, 1926-2013
Today we had the memorial service for my grandmother, who died last month. Each of us was asked to read out a piece we had written. This was my contribution:
Those to whom my grandmother gave the most cannot be here today. She always knew that they wouldn’t. The people with whom she shared her greatest gift are long dead, and even when they were alive they were unable to thank her. Often they could no longer speak, or remember who she was, or who they were themselves.
Week after week, my grandmother went into the buildings where these people were kept, and she shared with them the most meaningful gift God had given her: the gift of music. People who barely made an intelligible sound between one of her visits and the next would raise their voices and sing. It was here that my grandmother's voice, too, was most clearly heard.
In Luke's gospel, Jesus is quoted as saying: “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
My grandmother always believed in that resurrection. May she have her reward.