Mrs. Robertson had discontinued treatments for her cancer, for the last several weeks, having been told it was not effective. A few weeks ago, she asked me to read the letter at her service. I took a step backwards in response, and she simply asked me to think about it.
One thing I thought about was the support this lady always gave me since meeting me 18 years ago, upon our arrival in Joplin. Reading the letter was very nearly the least I could do for her in return.
I understand that a funeral is more for the living than for the dead, and while I am not a part of her physical family, her simple instruction to "think about it" was enough to encourage me to accept the responsibility.
Mrs. Robertson had seen me preach through tears before. She knew that I could not read such a heartfelt sentiment without tears, without emotion that would emote to every member of the audience. I have to assume that was one reason I was the chosen one to read it. I am certain that she wanted the letter read for the benefit of her physical family, but I considered it an honor to have been chosen to perform the task.
She was a teacher by career, a caretaker at heart, an encourager by habit, and a Christian by faith. We will take her forth in our memories, and seek to capture her spirit of giving and serving.