Ray and I met Ann Keen when we first visited the church where Ray is now the volunteer minister. On Sunday mornings, Ann always sat on the left side near the front, dressed in pretty colors and wearing pretty jewelry. In time we too gravitated to “our” regular pew a row or two behind Ann, and she became our friend. She always had a smile and often a chuckle. She loved our family, and we loved her.
Last Tuesday Ann went home to be with our Savior. On Saturday Ray had the privilege of doing the eulogy at her funeral. John Fox who is one of our elders said a prayer and made some personal comments. He mentioned Ann’s hard life, complimented her faithful Bible study, and praised her three living sons (a fourth died in a four-wheeler accident as a young man). Brother Fox, who is in his eighties, said that he doesn’t remember a time when Ann was not at every church service. That is saying something for a woman who sometimes worked two jobs while rearing her sons alone.
The funeral on Saturday also included a eulogy by Ann’s granddaughter. We had the pleasure of meeting the granddaughter at the visitation the day before. She was there in her sharp blue and white sailor uniform, having recently joined the Navy. She was unable to stay for the funeral so someone else read Ann’s granddaughter’s eulogy :
Grandma, what a blessing it was to have you as my grandmother. You have taught me so many lessons about life that I will cherish forever.
Your soul is so pure, still amazes me everyday how sweet and kind you were to everyone, even to people you didn’t even know. Writing this eulogy is not easy specially when it comes to you, Grandma. I’m gunna miss coming to your house, just sitting on the couch and listening to all your crazy stories, and you listening to mine.
I’ll miss you throwing food on that rock for the animals, you standing outside while we drive away to head back home. I’ll miss your smile, your love, your energy, and most of all your presence.
I showed in my uniform today for you, Grandma. I had hoped one day you would’ve been able to see me in it, but I know that even though you can’t see me right now, you’re with us in spirit.
I promise to make you proud, Grandma. It was such a blessing to have you a part of my life for the past 22 years. And if there’s one thing you taught me in life, it’s that life is a blessing, everyday is a blessing. So having you around for 22 years was a blessing.
I love you very much, Grandma. I know you’re in God’s hands now, in a good place.
Ann was like you are. She did what she had to do to take care of her children, no matter what the cost.
At the cemetery, Ray comforted the family with the following verses.
Jesus said to her,
“I am the resurrection and the life;
the one who believes in Me will live, even if he dies,
and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.”
And I heard a voice from heaven, saying,
“Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labors,
for their deeds follow with them.”