Connie’s death came unexpectedly. She was only 56. When I learned of her death last week, I could hardly believe it. She always seemed so full of life.
She and my sister had been close friends for many years. In fact, our entire family had come to know Connie and to like her. Although I was not around her a whole lot, I certainly liked her. She was an easy person to like. Seldom do you run into people these day that you would describe as “easy to like.” Maybe it’s because people are more stressed and frantic than ever before.
I doubted Connie had a self conscious bone in her body–she seemed so real. She seemed to make the most of whatever life presented to her. And she seemed to love people. Those were my impressions. Although I realized impressions can sometimes be a little wrong, I felt pretty sure my impressions about Connie were correct. And indeed I would soon find out.
As the funeral service progressed Saturday morning, family members and friends–some choking up, some in tears–spoke of their love for Connie and their appreciation for how she helped them to get better and to do better when they were at low points in their lives. She helped them when they had no place to go. She helped them to get back on their feet when she didn’t have a whole lot herself. When things started going wrong in the lives of her family and friends, Connie didn’t abandon them.
They spoke of how much she loved people. She loved telling people she loved them. She was a hugger too. “Everybody needs a hug sometimes,” she would say. Connie joked a lot and laughed a lot, and she loved cheering people up. She enjoyed cooking for her friends, and she enjoyed eating. Everybody laughed when Connie’s cousin mentioned how Connie loved to eat.
Finally, Connie gave the people in her life nicknames–like “Puny, for example, and like “Whiny.” Everybody chuckled and nodded in agreement about that too.
I feel inspired by Connie’s life. I am glad to have known her. I am glad to have learned what a wonderful person and friend she was to so many, and how she loved taking care of people. She shared her life and she did not hold back. What an inspiration!
Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and author–James Barker