Mortality. It’s something I repeatedly think about. The pain that comes with grief is something you can never prepare for, but the grieving process has a way of bringing awareness to our lives. It makes us conscious of who we are – the best and the worst parts of ourselves – and of the legacy we hope to leave behind in this world.
As our family continues to sift through our own pile of ashes – I find myself reflecting on how my death, which I hope is still a very loooong ways away, will someday affect my family and friends. It makes me think of things I would want them to remember if, in an instant, I am no longer on earth to say it for myself.
So, here it is – my tombstone goals. Those lasting thoughts I hope people remember about my life.
Cassandra Wilson: Faithful Servant. Honorable Wife. Loving Mother. Trusted Friend.
Faithful Servant: I expect by now you have come to realize that I don’t just talk a big faith game. I sincerely desire to live a life that is honoring and pleasing to God. There are moments I fail miserably. I am far from perfect. But I do strive to follow Jesus’ example to love God and to love others. It sounds morbid but I often tell people that I want the song In Christ Alone as part of my funeral service. The words to this song are exactly what I want my life to show, what I want my witness on earth to be. I want to be a reflection of Christ.
“I find my strength. I find my hope. I find my help in Christ alone. When fear assails. When darkness falls. I find my peace in Christ alone. I give my life. I give my all… to Christ alone.”
Honorable Wife: Since the spring of 2000 I’ve only had eyes for my husband. Dave and I may be polar opposites but God has used that to make us both stronger, better people. Our story is special. Yes, we disagree at times, and I often overreact to ridiculous things, but our commitment to each other has never once been questioned. Even in the darkest of valleys we fight for our relationship and climb back up the mountain. We do it together.
Marriage has reminded me that saying “I’m sorry” demonstrates strength, not weakness. That compromise is hard but necessary. That love is a choice, not always a feeling. That, at the end of each long day, there is no one else I would rather do life with because, while our marriage isn’t flawless, it is beautiful. My husband is my most prized possession.
Loving Mother: I’ve always wanted to be a mama and, now that I am one, I find it is my life’s greatest joy. I am truly humbled that God has trusted Isabella, Abigail, and Aidan into my imperfect care . I make plenty of mistakes. I get angry over silly things (yeap, spilled milk will do it) but I also spend hours laughing and cuddling and investing into their hearts. I strive to create lifelong memories that are laced with love and affection.
In all honestly, being a mom is harder than I thought it would be. Until I actually started living it, I didn’t realize it would include so many sleepless nights, endless piles of laundry, dramatic episodes (I panic when I think of those fast approaching preteen/teen years) that come with growing children, and limited down time. But, as I watch my littles continue to flourish and mature, I can’t help but feel this overwhelming sense of accomplishment and gratitude. I am proud of who they are. I delight in them. Their lives are my gifts and I am honored to be their mama.
Trusted Friend: God knows the desire we each have when it comes to authentic friendships – to be known and loved by people. Friends bring us delight and healing. They laugh when we’re joyful and cry when we’re hurting. They are understanding and forgiving and I am truly surrounded with the most incredible friendships.
From childhood to now I can think of friends who have walked with me through every season, good and bad, of life. My sisters and parents just so happen to be among some of my closest friends. I also cherish my non-related friends who have become family. I’m not always the most outstanding friend, sometimes my own selfishness gets in the way, but I do not take my friendships for granted. A friend loves at all times and I truly try to love my friends.
If I had to give my eulogy in one sentence it would be this: My husband is a stud, my children are rock-stars, my friends are champions, and life is meaningless without Jesus.
Remember, death is not the end. It is the beginning.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6