My Great Aunt Irene passed away on February 23, 2012 at the age of 85 years old. When I found out she had passed it was a surreal moment. I was attending an assembly for my oldest daughter after having spent the morning with my Parents, my Aunt and my Grandmother. Dad and I had said that we were going to go over and visit with Aunt Irene after the assembly. So there I was standing out in the hallway as my Dad gave me the news.
Once my mother and I had gathered my daughter my Dad and I left to go to the house to be with the family that was quickly gathering there. As a family we prayed along with her Pastor. I was being stoic. Trying to be there for everyone. Be Strong. Then my cousin came to me and said that my Aunt wanted me to give the eulogy.
After saying that I would I was caught in a wave of emotion and began to cry. As I sat outside of Aunt Irene's bedroom in the sitting room I cried because I couldn't believe that she was gone. As the night went on she asked me to prepare a video to be shown at the viewing and funeral. I thought I would share the video and my notes for her eulogy.
The thing about life is that God is in all of it. There is not one part of life where God is not present. The question is do you GET it? Do you see that He is there?
Irene Butler Hebron
January 5, 1927 - February 23, 2012
Aunt Irene was an amazing woman. She was an important part of my life growing up. The part that stands out to me the most was the time that I spent with her in the Drama Club at St. Mark's UMC. From 6 to 17 I was in every Easter, Christmas and Dinner Theater Play. Aunt Irene was always there, even when we thought she wasn't. Even when we thought she was paying attention to something else. Even when we really did want to be there. That was who she was. She had a heart for those under her care. That goes for all of us gather here today. At some point in our lives we were all touched by her. Whether you grew up with her in that old house, or you knew her from school; whether you were one of her many students, or one of her friends, she impacted you in some way. Even when you weren't around she was probably thinking about you in some way.
This is what we are called to as we navigate life with God. We are a family, whether by blood or faith, we walk through this life together. Stating this is the perfect lead in to the scriptures that we will look at as we celebrate the life of Aunt Irene. The first is the 23rd Psalm.
Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Probably one of the most recognizable verses in the Bible. It is an awesome testimony that points to God as an ever-present part of our lives. Everything in this passage shows God as someone who is there with you in the day to day. He is personal. Look at how David claims relationship with God.
You are with me...
God is there at the 50K foot level but He is also there in the minutest of details. That is what is evident here and in the life of Aunt Irene. In the next post I will look at the hope that she had as we examine John 14:1-6.