|Current mood:|| melancholy|
|Current music:||it is well with my soul|
this is the eulogy that my uncle wrote and read at her funeral..but i guess it was really his sermon because hes a retired minister and he was the one who conducted the services..
Julia Ramirez Garcia
(August 18, 1909 – December 30, 2003)
January 3, 2004
It was only days ago that my mother sat in her favourite chair in the living room listening as I said goodbye to my brothers. We had spent four days with mom. We knew mom was dying. Mom knew because mothers know everything. We never thought the day would come that we would see our once beautiful mother look so frail and thin. Very thin. Her voice just above a whisper.
I went to her and sat as close as I could. ‘Mom, I am leaving for the airport’. She nodded her head. We both knew it would be our last goodbye. I asked mama, ‘Mom, please give me your blessing.’ Slowly she lifted her thin hands and placed them on my head, then slowly moved until our foreheads touched and she gave me her blessing. It was a prayer to God for her son - the good-looking one. It was a prayer that the grace of God would follow me all the days of my life.
I knew her blessing came from out of the past, from long ago, from the missionaries that led her, Papa Lino, and Mama Marcos to Christ, who passed their blessing to mom and from mom to us, a blessing from God from who all blessings flow, a blessing that I and my wife have passed to our children and grandchildren.
I tell you on the authority of the word of God, those blessings are eternal. I kissed her and left.
Sitting as we did that day across from each other, now that I reflect on it, was a déjà vue moment. When I was just a little boy and I don’t know why I asked, but I said, ‘Mom, tell me the story of our family’. It seemed that all the ‘busy-ness’ just stopped. Phones did not ring. I sat on the ottoman and listened. As she talked my eyes grew wide in wonder. It would take me hours to tell you what I heard that day and I could not tell you without weeping for the wonder of it all and the grace of it all. When she finished I was not the same boy.
I had a legacy, an inheritance, eternal in the heavens and my mom and grand parents were giants and pioneers of the stuff that make this country great, that build communities, churches, and monuments; who bring visions to people and Brooklyn avenue, Belvedere, East Los Angeles, and who inspire, and who knew how to share with their new country the beautiful country of Mexico, our music, dances, and our language which has no match.
I was living with them. I was their grandson and mom was their daughter.
And I grew up in this church that my grand father built. On Sundays, he would bring me when it was time to ring the bell and he would put my feet on the knot of the rope and I would hold on and he would ring the bell and up and down I went and I would laugh.
I mention this because the blessing brought me to the church and to faith in Jesus Christ. I was told I belong to God, that I was accountable to God. I couldn’t shake it. Through my teenage years I was rebellious and disobedient but my mom had committed me to the Lord at my baptism. It was the deal they struck up and a deal was a deal.
And the blessing brought me faith in the Word of God so that from a child to this day I have never doubted the Word of God. I will tell you how that came about. When I would come in from dates, sometimes at 2:00 am, I would pass by their bedrooms, their lights were on and I would see my grandparents reading the Bible. I thought they were waiting up for me, but they were just reading the Bible and believing every word.
That blessing – belief in Holy Scripture – came from way back in Torreron, Mexico, when a Presbyterian minister gave my grandmother a tract that quoted John 3:16. (His son Reverend Falcon sits here with us today). Grandmother could not believe that God would give up his son to die for a world so cruel. She couldn’t part with her son, Jose. And so from John 3:16 to the Methodist missionaries at the Homer Toberman mission and then on and on and on until the blessing came to me and to my wife who has given her beauty to each of our children who now also know the Lord and believe the Bible.
Tell me the blessing of a parent to a child is only a sentimental Bible custom and I will not believe you. The blessing is not sentimental. It is Power. It is eternal. It is grace, mercy, love, and hope. It brings us to Jesus. It brings us salvation.
Mom, I know you are listening. Papa Lino and Mama Marcos, I know you are listening, and I want to thank you again from the bottom of my heart.
Your grateful son,