When I was a young girl, my parents moved our family across the country to a western state. It just so happened; I had a cousin that lived there that I had never met. She was an adult, married and had children. She, her husband, and children were wonderful people. I loved them so much. She would load all of us into her shiny red convertible, take us to the outskirts of town, and there we would jump into the irrigation canals and ride the currents. Thinking back on it, I guess that is where I developed my love for water parks. Just like those irrigation canals from my youth, my favorite feature is, of course, the lazy river. When I became a teenager, this same cousin, moved her family back to the south. When I would come home for visits, she would host hayrides, hot dog roasts, swimming parties at the pond and dances for all of the cousins. She was always so fun. She died many years ago, and to this day, I miss her.
My cousin Connie Ruth and her husband John were amazing people. They were so fun to know, but their greatest attribute was their benevolence. There was never anyone within their view, who did without the necessities of life. They would give up wonderful vacations, new vehicles, home improvements, fashionable clothes or anything else they had planned on, and give it to whoever was down on their luck or needed any help whatsoever. They believed in Christ’s example, “Charity Never Faileth” and were truly on God’s errand here on earth.
When I moved back to the south, my cousin’s husband John, was the first relative I went to visit. He was the same as ever, just as kind, sweet, and fun as he had always been. I could see in his eyes as we reminisced that he missed his fun-loving and beloved wife beyond measure, everyone missed her. As the past few years have slipped away, I have seen his body weaken, and eventually, yesterday he died.
I am sad he is gone. I will miss him terribly. I think the world has lost a humble, generous and amazing man. I know I have. I believe in an afterlife though, so I think today my cousin is jubilant that she and her husband have been reunited. That belief brings me great comfort.
As a young girl, John and Connie Ruth forever changed my life. They showed me how important it is to be kind and generous to others, even if others have not been so kind or generous to me. Their examples of purity and benevolence will forever remain vivid in my heart, and I will continually aspire to fashion my life after their supernal examples.
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author and professional speaker. I write books and weekly bereavement articles related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the “American Funeral Director of the Year” Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. I deliver powerful messages and motivate audiences toward positive recovery. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.