Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sad Day

We attended a funeral today for Ronna Skarda--a beautiful, wonderfully sweet woman, who died prematurely from cancer at 49 years old. This may sound strange, but I actually enjoy funerals. Having faith in eternal life seems to buffer the sadness and almost (almost) makes it seem joyous, especially in thinking of the reunion on the other side. The reality of those left behind, however, is poignant and sharp and can be devastating. I love to celebrate that person's life and hear the wonderful stories and anecdotes. Funerals tend to buoy me up and give me a more clear perspective on life and love.

What I learned from Ronna today:
1. motherhood is a gift, an incredibly precious gift! She cherished being a mother and there was no greater role in her eyes. As her daughter put it, Ronna "started early and ended late!" She was a mother at 15 years old (and before that to her little sisters) and had Skyler when she was in her mid-forties. It was the only thing she wanted to do and she put her whole heart into it!
2. tell your children (and others) often how much you love them. Ronna wrote these beautiful, heartfelt, very personal letters to her children and always expressed her love for them. It made me want to put more thought into my notes and conversations.
3. discuss the eternal aspect of your relationship with your children. Ronna told her children that they were best friends in the pre-existence and that she came first so that she could be their mom. Isn't that so sweet!? I love that knowledge that our spirits are so connected and will be forever. I often feel that deeper, spiritual connection with my own parents and with my children and I want to acknowledge that and cultivate it! We can (and should) have a deep and spiritual bond and friendship with our kids.
4. the first four minutes after your husband gets home are crucial--they set the tone for the rest of the evening! (john loved this one!) Ronna taught her daughter to cherish her relationship with her spouse and to greet him with enthusiasm and make him the focal point when he gets home from work with a peaceful and pleasant atmosphere (for at least four minutes!) Ain't that the truth!? It can change their whole mood! Ronna would even hurry and hang up the phone with her daughter if she could hear that her son-in-law had just got home. So cute! (I bet she put lipstick on too!)
5 thru 10... love life, love others, be grateful, be happy, be prayerful, and live each day like it's your last!

I love you Ronna! You will be missed!


Marilyn said...

Annie, what a beautiful tribute to a wonderful woman! I wish I had known her. I love funerals too, for the same reasons you mentioned. They truly are celebrations of life. Your "lessons learned" from Ronna are great lessons for all of us - thank you for articulating them so well. I love your blog!! And I LOVE YOU!!! Can't wait to see you this weekend. Love you always, Mom

AnnieB said...

I must get it from you! We may be the only people on the planet who enjoy funerals!
I can't wait to see you this weekend! I love you too! Thanks for being my fan!

Britt said...

What a beautiful tribute.

Rach said...

It is all so true! I love you tons, you bring so much happiness into my life and others. You're the best.

love you!

Eagar Fam said...

Your'e so cute. I'm sad I missed it, but I'm glad you shared the messages with me. Thanks for being my "fly on the wall."

Wendy said...

Hi John and Annie. How fun to find your blog. And you've got great taste in the template. :)Your family is so cute.

Ronna does seem like such a wonderful woman. Thanks for sharing with us.

Melissa said...

Hey Annie. See... this is why I can no longer blog! You are such a great writer. Can I just tell you my stories and have you write them up for me? ;)

I had so much fun with you last night! Sorry for the life story... DRAMA!!! :)

Mandi Crockett said...

I heart Annie!

Loralee said...

It is most rewarding to be inspired when you are not expecting it! I love the advice that you blogged from Ronna. I am sure she would be honored. Your whole blog is awesome, sweet and simple. It is nice to be motivated without feeling guilty! With love Loralee