Dear Mrs. Israel,
I went to your funeral yesterday, difficult as it was for me, for you are sorely missed. It was a lovely service. There were bag pipes playing outdoors when my daughter and I arrived. Bag pipes are eloquently mournful, full of reverence.
I checked to make sure - there wasn't a single man there who did not have on a coat and tie for you; you would have been so proud.
Your favorite pastor, David, took care of most of the service. He was proud and honored to have been named your favorite, although he knew he was your favorite because you could hear him better than the others. I think it was more than that though. I think you liked him because he was teachable. He said he always made sure he wore a tie when he preached because you said it was important. Joe said he was going to wear a tie more often too, because he saw truth in so much of what you said. Who now will be willing to graciously speak the truth in love?
Rena Carolyn spoke at your service as well. She is certainly a lovely young woman now. She said that she wished that she could speak her mind as confidently as you did. I think that will come with time. Who will guide her with such honesty now that you are gone?
She said what she admired most about you was your faithfulness to God and the church. How true that was! Joe said there were over 200 people on your prayer list that you prayed for every day. I am honored to know that I was one of those people. Who will pray for those 200 now?
Everyone spoke of how you came to church no matter what because you wanted to honor God on His day. They spoke of how you dressed to the nines on Sunday, regardless of who did not follow suit, because you wanted to show your respect to an Holy God. What will it be like without your quiet example?
It was my intention that my daughter and I would go to tea after your funeral, like we did so many times with you, sharing quiet and ladylike moments. I must confess, I could not bear the thought of tea afterwards because I was in such distress at the loss of my dear friend.
I will miss our tea times, our candid conversations, the sharing of our beliefs and values, and our running errands together. You were a dear friend to me, my adopted grandmother. Who now will stand in your place in my life?