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Ann Farabee: The legacy

As I stood in the funeral home, it seemed the stories all centered around what she had done for others during her 99 years of life.

One family member told of a recent conversation, where she had emphatically stated, “I loved cooking all the meals for my husband and my three sons. It made me happy.”

As I heard this, I smilingly shook my head while thinking, “The joy of cooking?” But she had meant it with her whole heart. She probably felt that same joy when cleaning. Perhaps she felt that joy even as she was doing the laundry.

Stay at home mom, right?

No.

She directed children’s choirs.

She taught kindergarten.

She was Head of Volunteer Services at the hospital.

She faithfully served in her church.

She was a friend to all.

She loved her family well.

And when she needed a ‘break’ from her work, that break came in the form of playing the piano:

  • At age 99 — in the assisted living facility where she lived.
  • On Sundays — at the church that she and her family faithfully attended.
  • And a special performance — on a mansion tour near a New Mexico Boy Scout Camp where she played ‘Jesus Loves Me’ on a $200,000 piano.

But for the family, perhaps the most cherished memories were walking in the back door of home and hearing the hymns flow.

Surely there were days she had not felt like cooking, or cleaning, or teaching, or directing, or maybe even playing the piano. Perhaps she felt like sitting down and taking a break. But if she did, no one remembers seeing that happen.

As years passed, her mind and body began to grow tired. And one day, she was ushered into her eternal home in the arms of Jesus, where according to 1 Peter 1:4, she received an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, that fades not away, reserved in heaven for her. Yes, a place was reserved in heaven! She had reservations!

While on earth, she had lived as we all do – good times, hard times, busy times, quiet times. She chose not just to live a life – but to live a life of joy.

A life of serving her family. A life of serving others. A life of serving her Savior.

0 to 99 — a lot of years — a lot of life — a lot of love. And…it was the daily little things that ended up being the really big things.

What a beautiful legacy. I am sure she had no idea the magnitude of what she was leaving behind for others to emulate in their own lives, because she was too busy spending her time creating that legacy.

After she heard these words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” I have no doubt as to what happened next. She sat down… and began playing the piano for Jesus.

Ann is a speaker and teacher. Contact her at annfarabee@gmail.com or annfarabee.com

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