Tribute To A Lovely Lady
by Jim Oates 5/15/2008 / Death
We were asked to arrive at the funeral home early to make sure that everything was in order and for a little quiet time before people started to arrive.
She looked lovely; she even had that little smile on her lips that had been her trademark ever since I have known her. She was wearing a simple blouse with a bit of a frill down the front and a grey sweater with a simple broach. Other than her wedding and engagement rings, she was never one for jewelry and makeup; God had endowed her with a countenance that did not need things, such as these, to draw attention to her. Something wasn't just right though; it was her hair, a lock of hair always fell provocatively over her forehead, but the hair dresser, not knowing her, had combed it back. It was soon rectified and the first visitors began to arrive.
I have been to many funerals in my lifetime but this one was different. I was the one standing at the casket trying to keep my composure. It was a long tiring afternoon. I had never expected to see so many people. Wilma was the kind of person, that whoever had anything to do with her, liked her. But, so many people; I was over whelmed, I couldn't believe the out-pouring of love and sympathy that continued through out the afternoon and evening.
I had expected the cousins of course, a few neighbours and some of the church folk but this turn out was overwhelming. I had expected a few close friends from the church but I think the whole congregation turned out along with many who had moved away years before. So many people; many people I had never met and all with words of encouragement. In her modesty, she probably would have been embarrassed by all the attention.
Many were friends and workmates of our children who had never met Wilma. This spoke volumes to me about the woman I loved. She was a quiet humble woman of integrity, who instilled integrity into the lives and character of her children. All of these people spoke well of each one of our four children and came out of respect for them. This made me even more proud of our kids, and how they turned out so well.
The next morning for the funeral service at the church, two cars of people that arrived from Barrie, some five hours of driving, all who knew and worked with our daughter. Our former Pastor, Todd Manuel, who Wilma was very fond of, came. Pastor Brent invited him to say a few words in tribute and of coarse Todd just had to add a few embarrassing but humorous anecdotes that happened while she had been custodian at Essex Gospel. It was what a funeral really should be; it was a celebration of the life of a woman who loved her God and loved just about everyone she came in contact with, especially children. It was a life well lived.
I am a retired farmer and factory worker. Born in 1931, a product of Scotish emigrants, who came to Canada in 1923.
I graguated from grade 12 and went on to further my education in the school of hard knocks.
My wife of 45 years went to Heaven in 2002 and I started writing in 2004.