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Lynna Clark: Write Your Own

Lynna Clark

We lost two friends last week. Both men died after dealing with cancer for a number of years. Our friend Tim lived long enough to enjoy his grandchildren. Our younger friend Marc was in the middle of raising a son and a daughter and passed on his wedding anniversary. Both men were loved by many. Each had made peace with Jesus, trusting Him as his Savior, and knew his “graduation day” would come soon. So Marc wrote his own obituary. Tim drew his fishing buddy aside and told him what to say at his memorial service. It got me to thinking.

When David’s beautiful mother Nina passed, I was honored to write her obituary. She was so dear and so much fun that it was easy… except for the grieving part. Being a DIY person, I wondered if I should go ahead and write out my own obituary. It might make things easier for my loved ones. Plus I could say a bunch of nice stuff that they might not think of… like how humble I am. And I could quote my favorite songs of yesteryear.

“Her hands were calloused but her heart was tender.” Hmmm…

Redneck Girl might not be the most appropriate. The belt with my name on the back has long ago shrunk a few sizes. Besides, that song might be a stretch since my heart is more calloused than my hands these days. I realized that again a few weeks ago when I started to buy a fall sign to hang on the front door. It was beautiful and not terribly expensive. But it said “Welcome” and everybody knows that’s a lie. Though Nina’s pineapple still rests in my yard as a southern symbol of warmth and friendship, I do not share her gift of hospitality. And I really try not to be a hypocrite in case I ever decide to invite someone to church. The daughter who was shopping with me confirmed what I was thinking. I might be a tad jaded at this juncture. Maybe I’ll just leave the obituary writing to her.

As I thought on our two friends who passed too soon, a verse came to mind that reflects both their characters. 1 Thessalonians 4:11 says, “Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.”

What a challenge! Both men were very hard workers with pleasant personalities. Marc was always friendly and generous. His giant smile continued even throughout his illness. As long as we’ve known Tim, his eyes have sparkled with something akin to mischief. Quiet kindness was his M.O.

In a day when the goal is to appear perfect and successful, how rare to find two such Godly men. Each lived a quiet life, minded his own business, and loved his Savior, wife and family.

Thank you Tim and Marc, for writing your own beautiful story by the way you lived. We miss you already.

Written in loving memory of our friends Tim Smith and Marc Collins.

Lynna Clark lives in Salisbury. Read more at LynnasWonderful Life.wordpress.com

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