“Her life was not an easy life. She experienced heartache and hardship, but it was a life well lived.” This is a phrase I found myself repeating to mourners who came to pay their final respects at my mother’s funeral this week.
The Great Depression. The deaths of two husbands and one infant daughter. Life as a widow raising four children—two of whom gave her more than her deserved share of trouble (yours truly among them). The deaths of both parents and five siblings—three sisters and two brothers. Decades plagued by the effects of emphysema (chief among them—a susceptibility for pneumonia). Cancer. These are a sampling of challenges my mother faced in her 86 years and seven months this side of heaven.
Love. Laughter. Family. True, genuine, nurturing and caring friendships. Travel. A 25-year career working for folks who weren’t only employers but dear friends as well. Secure knowledge in her place in heaven upon departing this earth. These are the things that made for a life well lived.
The Queen of Caffeine indeed.
Ruth Ann Cassella; born January 6, 1931 – died August 4, 2017, following a life well lived
Giving someone a refreshing drink of water is representative of the smallest act of charity one could practice. And love is never absent from charity.
According to scripture, a cup of cold water is the minimal requirement for hospitality, the definition of which is: friendliness, helpfulness, warmth, kindness, geniality, courtesy, generosity, etc. Or perhaps more simply put at its base level, the love of others, including strangers. (Hebrews reminds us, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers for some have entertained angels. Unaware.”)
Jesus, in speaking to the disciples, states each act of service is unto God and has its reward. We are all servants of God Almighty. All of God’s servants will be rewarded, even a person who gives a simple drink of cold water to one of God’s “little ones”—especially when given with a smile. (Matthew 10:42)
God calls us to love and has tasked us with making strangers into neighbors and friends. Jackson, my sweet son, I pray you always rise to your Almighty Father’s call to love, and may others always see Jesus in you.
We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. ~Charlie Chaplin