Flowers, Flags and Friends

I write this post smack in the middle of Memorial Day Weekend.  We, like so many Americans, enjoy grilled food on the back deck.   We notice the American flags secured proudly on front lawns and in the parks.  We bow our heads and give thanks for the sacrifice others gave so we can be a free nation.  We celebrate our freedom.

Another kind of memorial
Tom and I changed from our jeans and t-shirts into dressier clothes and drove into town yesterday afternoon.  He mentioned during the drive to the funeral home that we have spent several weekends attending memorials in the last months.   I balanced the pasta salad on my lap that I prepared for the reception after the service, and we lamented the passing of yet another good friend, our chiropractor, Danny.  It touched Tom and I deeply that the family invited us to the intimate service as well as the public one.  We joked that they better choose a place like the county fairgrounds for that one to hold all the people Danny loved and helped to heal. 

Funerals vs. Parties
I keep a journal of the lessons I learn from death because each experience teaches me something unique.  Legacies teach us about life and encourage us if we listen closely. The service spotlighted heartfelt testimonies from family and close friends, and the preacher shared a timely word from the Book of Ecclesiastes. 

A good name is better than fine perfume,
    and the day of death better than the day of birth.
 It is better to go to a house of mourning
    than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of everyone;
    the living should take this to heart.  Ecc 7:1-2

I think all of us would have rather been on a picnic or a hike in the mountains rather than sitting in that funeral home mourning such a vivacious soul.  It pained us to say goodbye to a man of only 55 whom we thought of as a friend rather than a professional.  The Biblical message focused on reputation and can be summed up in one sentence:  Live well, so the preacher doesn’t have to lie about you!

The positive take away from attending a funeral, according to the preacher man, involves the pause.  The pause leads us to evaluate.  When we evaluate our lives, we’re encouraged to continue on and create the best legacy we can to enrich others lives with our love and faith.

Another Take Away
I must mention, too, the fried chicken with homemade sides and desserts comforted our sad hearts! 

Our memorial keepsakes featured a quote from our doctor-friend that not only keeps his memory alive, but encourages me to love deeply:

“I truly believe that the people you meet
In this life is the biggest blessing that God sends your way.
That there’s no such thing as coincidences all circumstances
Fall into play for a reason.”
-Dan Nelson

Happy Memorial Day, friends!  Have a fun weekend and be safe.  May we all find someone to love in a special way.


  1. It is so sad to lose someone so young. I'm glad that you were able to attend the service and honor him and take comfort from others. Have a blessed Memorial Day.

  2. I echo Melanie's comment. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Oh, I remember your mention of Danny a couple of years ago ... and believed he was recovering. Sometimes, His will is difficult to fathom, isn't it?
    Thank you for sharing his quote ... that's one I'm going to clip and embrace.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. That seems like a very young age to leave this world. God bless and comfort all who mourn. I am still praying for your dear sister, too, my friend, and trusting God to comfort all of your hearts. Sending lots of love and hugs to you tonight!

  5. Funerals and cemeteries make us very sad. This year there's additional sadness on Memorial Day- the american nation seems to be highly divided since the last elections. The dangers are not from Russia or North Korea, but from within, from the fact that part of the nation is unwilling to accept the democratic result of these elections. For me , as an outsider it was quite a shock.

  6. So young of a man to have passed, but so loved by so many. Definitely will be missed I am sure. I totally agree with Dan Nelson's thoughts that there is no coincidences. All things are carefully and thoroughly orchestrated by God, and for that I am grateful.


  7. Dan sounds like a wonderful, faith-filled man. What a privilege you had to have known him. May God comfort all his family and friends.

  8. Funerals are always sad for those who are living. But we are comforted that we will one day meet up with those who have departed and were in the Lord. I like this sentence written by you: "Live well, so the preacher doesn’t have to lie about you!" I hope I will always remember this. Have a happy day!

  9. I like thinking of a funeral as a pause. Whenever someone dies, I think back over the times I had with them. And of course, it causes me to evaluate how I'm spending my time in the now. I love the quote of Dan Nelson who mentioned. People and relationships are what counts. I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to meet you twice in person Mary. So sorry for the loss of your friend and chiropractor.

  10. I'm so sorry for your loss, Mary. It is always a sad time when those we care about leave this world. Being only 55 must have made it much harder. Life truly is about relationship, isn't it? Things come and go but people are here for a certain amount of time. Making the most of each day is so important. Hugs.

  11. How young! Only God knows the time that our life will end for sure. I love that you keep a journal like this! WOW! I keep different journals. But, I love to write down things that are thought provoking or that might simply be a message for me in the midst of good or bad. I love it that you have done this with a funeral. I fully agree....Nothing is by coincidence but by circumstance and I believe that to be divine. Hugs to you dear friend and I am so sorry at the loss of your friend.

  12. Excellent post, Mary. Not all of life is smiles and there's a time to mourn and then use the mind God blessed us with to gain His wisdom.

    You have much wisdom, sister.

    Thanks for the heartfelt post and I'm sorry for your loss. I'm praying for Danny's family.

  13. Hi Mary! Loss is such a hard part of life, and I really admire how you honor the people you know and love by supporting their families in their time of need. I know you are supporting and encouraging them in ways you may never know.
    Memorial Day is a wonderful time for all of us to know and understand the price that people have paid so that I can live in this wonderful country. But you bring up the point that I can also remember those who I love who have passed recently, especially my Dad.
    May God bless you and your family (especially your sister). I'll see you in the fall. Please feel free to email me this summer anytime. I'd love to keep in touch.

  14. Beautiful post and verses that you shared and the special quote that lives on from your dear Friend.
    My mom passed away exactly two years ago, so I have also been thinking of her passing, and of the sadness as well as the blessings we are given and to treasure our God-given life. Sometimes its hard to remember to really treasure the relationships and even the very small moments that are so precious, so thank you for your beautiful reminder. I love how you also included the tastes of the day, it really brought us (the reader) in and you have an amazing way through the telling of bringing us closer to sharing your experience.

    My condolences for the loss of your friend.

    Many blessings from Japan!

  15. Only 55... some get 95, others 105, and some fewer years than that. Ever since my Dad passed 3 years ago at age 77, I see ages as "he got 55" and "she got 110." Be thankful and live each day. We are here for such a short time.


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