When I first met Nana, her granddaughter was soon to become my Daughter-in Law. She and Papa were retired and still living outside Baltimore in a home they had shared for fifty or more years. She smoked and she bowled and had friends-a-plenty in the parish where she raised her children. And the life which was so full with service and goodness passed by even in all the blessing that was hers to live. Losses accumulated amid the gains….a son and his wife died much too young. Papa got sick; then ill health crept into her own life. Not much slowed her down. She was strong in the face of loss and persevered in the storms.
Now the end is near for her…. and an end that is a beginning. For today she stands at the portal of the promise of eternity. Her life force will exit the failing mortality to join the life that is immortal and undefileable in the Presence of Almighty God. There are voices from the balcony calling her….. Jimmy…. Papa….. Marlee and a countless host of saints who have bowled and played bingo with her. All wait to be joined with her beyond the limitation of flesh. And so I pray….
Almighty and All-Merciful God, we thank you and praise you for your creation and especially this day, your creation of Nana and for all she has meant in the world and in the lives of her friends and family. Now as she is transitioning from this world to her Eternal home with you, we pray mercy and grace for her. Hold her in your heart and ease this passage with your comfort and your peace.
Grant unto Nana, and all this day who have finished their course, the assurance that you hold all things in your care and will bring all things to completion in You. Open your home to Nana and welcome her with the same thanksgiving in which we offer her to you. Your plan is sure, but the race is hard. Give us courage in loss and strength in sorrow. Make the way plain and smooth all the rough places as we journey with Nana to You. In Christ we pray. Amen.