Today I went to the Homegoing Service for my Vice President’s husband.  I was dreading it because I simply don’t like death and I think I hate funerals even more.  The whole concept of it just seems dreary and depressing to me.  But I feel as though our Vice President is a formidable woman of strong faith and even though I’ve only known her a short 1 year and a 1/2, I wanted to show my support and pay my respects.  I also felt another “tie” to her family because my sister had established a brief friendship with her daughter, as I informed our VP that she’d just recently graduated from UNC – Chapel Hill and her daughter was a rising freshman, at the time.  We exchanged numbers on their behalf and they went to tea, my sister had helped her figure out campus housing, gave her advice regarding the campus and even introduced her to some friends. Going to the service was a definitely something I fully intended and was going to do.

I enlisted my favorite attorney, aka my Partner in Crime to ride me with to the service.  She too, shared my fear of funerals and we figured there is comfort in numbers. We picked up two other co-workers on the way and we arrive shortly before 10:30am.  What we witnessed, no one in Freddie Mac Legal Division was prepared for.  This man touched, even me, in his death…yet I never knew him. 

Talk about a legacy!

His colleague spoke of fond memories.  One you can’t fake.  Their realness, truth and earnestness were evident in each and every recount.  Everyone reinforced that this man, George, wasn’t just a good man. He was a GREAT man.  I looked at this beautiful family, 10 children, some adopted, yet not one felt slighted.  Many different colors, Jamaican, Ukrainian, Mixed….they all knew in their core that this man, was their father.  6 of the children spoke of him…and you felt their sincerity, you could feel their grief, but most of all, you could see the LOVE and the unwavering FAITH of the family.  One of the moments that touched me most was his daughter, petite in stature, gave his Eulogy. I was speechless.  I would HOPE that I had enough strength to tell someone I loved after they were gone, how much they meant to me.  I don’t know if I could ever be so eloquent, so strong, so broken, yet so composed – as his daughter was this morning.

The main things I took away from this service was – will my life touch people, the way this man’s had, even in death? Will the words of my friends, families and co-workers move complete strangers to tears? Not just tears of compassion, geniune tears, for someone they’d never met before? Someone who valued family, his name, honor, honestly and most of all his FAITH in God – what will people say about me?  How will I have made them feel? 

One of his sons gave a list of promises that he would fulfill, in honor of his father – they were filled with jokes, appreciation of art and beauty, love of family, and to never forget where you come from.  His youngest daughter, perhaps touched me the most. She spoke of her dance at her wedding with her father and how their song was “Because you loved me” by Celine Dion.  I listened to her farewell letter to her father and i listened to the lyrics of the song – I think everyone in the room was so touched.  If the congregation was human, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. 

The thing is, it wasn’t depressing. It was inspirational.  He inspired me to live as he did and achieve more – I want to write my unborn daughters and sons poems, I saw how they gave hope, inspiration and guidance to his baby girl.  I want them to know they’re intelligent, beautiful, handsome, smart and they can be anything they want to be – just because I believe so FIERCELY in them and their potential.  I want my relationship with my husband to mean so much, that he never doubts my love for him and that we’re so rooted in the word of God, that people describe our relationship as 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, personified, in real life. 

Lastly, I want a young girl/guy, who never met me before, but somehow ended up at my memorial service to be so touched, so moved – that through the memories I left with my families and friends, they sit on their bed hours later, reflect on what they heard and are INSPIRED to be the best person they can be.   Just like I was by this great man – that I met today, through the words, laughter, tears, and memories of his beloved children and one of the strongest women I’ve ever met in my life, his wife and my Vice President of General Litigation.

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