“It’s a hard day for our family,” commented eleven year old great-grandson. And he’s right–when someone’s 92-year-old great-grandmother has been unable to walk, has been on oxygen, and has lived for six years in a care center, the funeral day for her is not hard for anyone except the memories of her few remaining family. Most difficult is returning to the country cemetery for burial on the farm where she lived for over fifty years prior to “moving to town” as it is called in rural, north Missouri.
“She’s exactly where she wants to be–in heaven,” commented her only grandson. For her funeral service, we could not find what one would call her favorite Bible verse because pages and pages were underlined. I admired that, even when she could no longer walk, she considered her calling in life to pray for her daughter-in-law, her two grandchildren and their spouses, and her five great-grandchildren.
You see, she was a widow who lost her only ‘stellar’ son nine years ago. Her reading list consisted of Jesus Calling by Susan Young, The Joshua Code-52 Scripture Verses Every Believer Should Know by O. S. Hawkins, any book by Karen Kingsbury, and her large-print Bible.
And as her only granddaughter related, “I’m sorry her good, long life is so colored by its last few years; that’s really not who she was at all.” She remembers glowing times on the farm taking a dog into Grandma’s house where one had never been allowed; making a play house in the smoke house complete with rag rugs and furnishings she was allowed to take from Grandma’s back porch; and cooking, stirring, washing dishes while standing on a chair.
Even while in the care center, she wanted me to bring her only Alfred Dunner brand clothes because of their perfect stylish fit. You’ve never heard of Alfred Dunner? Then you are not a senior adult woman or you have never shopped for a senior adult woman. She was addicted to chocolate and manicures–just thought you’d like to know.
She was long active in Women’s Missionary Union–at that time the only organization for women in her country church. She taught boys’ Sunday School classes when no one else was patient enough for that group. One of her favorite memories was a pre-teen boy who missed several Sundays. Upon his return to church, she welcomed him. His reply? “Mrs. Davidson, it takes a lot more religion for you than it does for me.” She probably made him memorize all the Bible verses he’d missed instead of just the one for that day.
Yes, last Saturday, Estelle Marie Davidson Burgin, was placed in her final resting place between her late husband and her only son. Let each of us ask for forgiveness of sins and invite Jesus to live in our lives forever so there will be no question where, like my mother-in-law, we will spend eternity.