By Paula Thiesen

I went to a funeral this past week. It was for someone I barely knew. In fact I can’t say I had even had a conversation with her. I had met her and her husband. She was quiet and had this sweet smile. But I was connected to her through two friends that had come to know her very well. They were not related to her, but had known her for many years, and had come to think of her as family. One of the friends had been the woman’s neighbor while growing up. She would often speak of her as being like a mother, a grandmother to her. She called her “Auntie”.

The woman was what we consider “old”; eighty-two and just short of her 83rd birthday. She died after a brief stay in the hospital. She died in her sleep. My friend said, “She looked so peaceful.”

The reason I am writing this piece is because when I left the funeral I was very much taken with the kind words that were spoken of this woman, and the most positive affects she had on so many peoples’ lives. The eulogy was given by the woman’s five granddaughters. How brave they were to except that responsibility. One by one they shared their most personal story they had growing up with their grandmother. Even though each one had different experiences in that time, they each expressed such true love and admiration.

It was obvious to all that were silently listening to their teary words, that this woman had spent quality time with each of these young women growing up. She taught them many things, mostly from setting the example, of what it means to be kind and loving. Whether it was fixing a tea party, playing cards and games, giving a small treasure gift, cooking and baking, caring for the home, gardening, fishing and cleaning the fish, watching their games in sports; the list was so long!

This woman was kind to her family, but the same energy went into her neighbours too. She always had time; made time for everyone in her life. Her caring was sincere.

I went to a most beautiful funeral this past week for a woman I barely knew. It taught me such an important lesson. Time is the most precious gift. It is the kindest gift we can give, especially to our children. It is what they really need, attention. “Look at me!”