Thursday, March 09, 2006

A father's graveside tribute

Hundreds of people swelled around the grave where Mary was to be laid to rest. Several Pastors lead the mourners in prayer before Mary's father was called upon to say a few words about his daughter.

His words were profound and touched me deeply.

He lavished praise upon his departed daughter. His pain was evident in his words and was engraved upon his face. After speaking so highly of Mary he then turned his attention to the rest of his children and family memebers gathered at the graveside. He began to rebuke them. He told them in no uncertain terms that they had lost a remarkable sister - a sister who had provided for all the family whilst her siblings had sat at home comfortable in the knowledge that Mary would not let them go hungry. He reminded them that now with Mary gone they would have to fend for themselves. They would have to get up from their chairs and go out to work.

His words were passionate but not harsh. He spoke out of love - not just for his departed daughter but for her siblings. He desparately wanted Mary's life to be an inspiration to the rest of her family.

I felt that his words were brave. He spoke the words that many fathers had left unsaid. I hope that his words were heard by his children and by others gathered there - and that they inspired some to act and not just be reliant on one or two family members to support everyone else.

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