Today I attended the funeral of a man who lived for 103 years. He was the father of one of my dearest and most treasured friends. He was a man who lived through so much change, and who seemed to somehow embrace every new step.
This gentleman was a true old Cape Codder, living through the years when the Cape was an unpaved, marshy wilderness. He hunted for ducks in the marsh. He harvested clams and oysters in the shallow waters of the bays.
He served in the Navy, he married well, and he raised two daughters. He was a businessman, a fisherman, a golfer, a true New England “old salt.”
What I loved about his memorial service today was the emotion and love that his children, grandchildren and even one great grandson shared with all of us.
What they said was exactly what I hope and pray will be said about me one day.
“He lived his own life in his own way.”
“He made us laugh.”
“Papa was full of fun.”
And best of all, “He was my friend.”
A great grandson said those words. “He was my friend.”
How beautiful. How perfect. What a wonderful accolade to a life well lived. To know that the child of your child’s child could look at you and see the face of a true friend.
I am old enough now to listen carefully to the words that are shared at funerals. I listen and I hope, and I vow to bend and shape my own life more carefully.
I hope that one day, when it is my turn to step out of this life and into the next, that some young person will speak of me with love. I pray that one of my descendants will be able to stand up and say, with honesty, “She was my true friend.”
With special love to my dear friends Wendy Bearse King and to her beautiful children. A life well lived is the best aspiration that any of us can have.