Monday, April 27, 2009

No Man is an Island

Yesterday was my Grandmother’s funeral. This is my second grandmother to die this year. I am now officially out of grandmothers. I had several good thoughts at the funeral in January which I already wrote about. This funeral I had very different thoughts, but still very important to my life. The thought that kept going through my mind during the viewing and the funeral is the impact that my Grandma Williams had on this world. She is a very small woman--she may have been less than 5 feet when she died. She may have been small, but she had a huge impact on hundreds of lives.

It was repeated several times that she was a piano teacher for more than 70 years. I can’t imagine doing anything consistently for that long. She directed orchestras, bands and choirs all over the country. I just kept thinking of all the good that she did because of her love for music. She helped so many to learn how to play and love music. Music was her passion that she spread to so many.

In addition to her love for music affecting so many, I also thought about her love for the gospel. She raised her family in a small town in northern Michigan. There was a small branch of the church that had an organ but no one to play it. The branch president told the missionaries to go and baptize an organ player. Two weeks later my grandma started coming to church to play the organ for the branch. Her decision to join the church has helped so many people live happier lives. Her ripple effect is felt by so many and will continue through generations to come.

Her humor will be remembered for a long time also. Even with her failing health she always had a joke. She enjoyed a good prank every now and then also. Her last thing she said to a non-family member before she passed away was a joke to her doctor. She always liked to keep people on their toes.

I have had some time to think about how she affected me in my life. She always made me think that I shouldn’t take life to seriously. She always had a simple solution for every problem, whether it was a good solution or not. She led a very simple life and she truly enjoyed it. She has helped me to understand that I can have a great impact on the lives of others. I hope that I can always remember that I am affected by others and I affect others in turn. I hope that I can live my life so that others are better because I am around them, because after all, no man is an island.


Jeff said...

Those are some great thoughts. I didn't know your grandma very well but it sounds like she was a great woman.

Amy said...

Jar thanks so much for sharing with us! I love your thoughts on life you inspire me to be better! I love you!

Robyn said...

I just read my sisters blog all about her getting to see Wicked. There is a song that is called "For Good" and I think that it has the same message.

"I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you..."