When we entered the chapel at the beginning of the service I was so happy to see many familiar faces and old friends. I sat next to one of my favorite sisters whom I love dearly though rarely see. I really lilked the seat too because it was near the front in the soft benches which was a plus with the overflow crowd that attended.
Just acrossed the isle and up a row or two were the 'Reserved' seats. They are the seats up front that are held for family and close friends that come into the service. They usually come in behind the casket signalling the start of the funeral. So I was close enough to really look at the people that were in the Reserved seats. To see the sadness on their faces as they bid farewell to their beloved family member.
But at the end of her life, what was essential were those people in the Reserved Sears. They were the legacy that she left behind. They were the ones that her influence would flow through far into the future. They were the ones that made her life full and complete, and hard to leave.
I was impressed by the courage and perspective of her children that spoke to us. They seemed to see her death as a part of life and just a temporary separation from our loved ones. I found their candor to be inspiring. Seeing them reminded me again that when you look at the sum of your life, there are a small group of people that are essential. The way we love and care for those closest to us really does matter as was evidenced by the strength and character of those in the Reserved Seats.