I've lost numerous family members ranging from uncles and aunts to friends and cousins.
Because of school and sometimes work; I haven't been able to attend half of the funerals in the last six years.
The last funeral I remember attending was my grandmother Anita's. I can still remember the feeling of emotions overwhelm my being.
With a dim room full of plants, flowers, sad music and a slideshow of pictures is the usual scene.
You have people that can't breathe while they cry, some that sit there quietly and others that go around offering their condolences.
Last Friday, my boyfriend's great-grandmother passed away after being bedridden and suffering from Alzheimer's disease for years.
Although she is not related to me by blood; I would visit her once a month and grew used to seeing her. She was 98.
Her relationship with her children was beautiful. Every week, one of her children would take their turn to stay with her and care for her.
My boyfriend's grandmother would travel from San Antonio to Robstown every month for her turn and never once complained.
That amazed me every time I visited since both my great-grandmother and grandmother were placed in a nursing home when it was difficult to care for them.
While attending the funeral, my heart sinks with the cries of those who knew her and the moans of her children as the casket closes.
The service was full of meaning and brought comfort to her huge family. I don't know the exact numbers, but she had 11 children, more than 60 grandchildren and about 30 great-grandchildren.
The wonderful lady was dressed in pink and pink roses were everywhere at her funeral. The father conducting the service pointed that out and asked why that was.
Everyone answered that pink, or rose,†was her absolute favorite color.†
He sent the altar boy to fetch a pink robe from the back which he said is only used twice a year around Christmas and Easter time.†
The father explained that the color of the special robe had a meaning - to rejoice.†
He said it was not by coincidence that pink was her favorite color and was dressed in it, but that it was in God's plan. He told the family that the lady wanted her family to rejoice in the fact that she had lived a full life.
Another point that amazed me was a gospel he shared.†
The story of the 10 bridesmaids was used to relay the message:
Here is what the kingdom of heaven will be like at that time.
Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went out to meet the groom.†Five of them were foolish. Five were wise.†
The foolish ones took their lamps, but didnít take any oil with them.†The wise ones took oil in jars along with their lamps.†The groom did not come for a long time. So the bridesmaids all grew tired and fell asleep.
†At midnight someone cried out, "Hereís the groom! Come out to meet him!"
Then all the bridesmaids woke up and got their lamps ready.†The foolish ones said to the wise ones, 'Give us some of your oil. Our lamps are going out.'
The wise ones replied, "No, there may not be enough for all of us. Instead, go to those who sell oil. Buy some for yourselves."
So they went to buy the oil, the groom arrived. The bridesmaids who were ready, went in with him to the wedding dinner. Then the door was shut.
Later, the other bridesmaids also came. "Sir! Sir!" they said. "Open the door for us!"
But he replied, "What Iím about to tell you is true. I donít know you."
The story ended with "So keep watch. You do not know the day or the hour that the groom will come."
To me, that was an eye-opener. It made me re-evaluate my life and who is in it. Do I take things for granted?
We never know when things or people will leave our lives, so we should appreciate them.†