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Adding to our daily lives

Editorial by Chris Kovatch

 

This past weekend I had the honor of serving as a pallbearer at a fellow church member’s funeral. I know ‘honor’ is a strange word to use, but I feel it’s an entirely appropriate choice. I was honored because of who this church member was and more importantly the life that she had lived.

This church member knew struggle and hardship. She knew what it was like to do without. Yet she persevered. She knew that she wanted more in this life and set a goal of completing her college degree. What made this even more of a challenging feat is that she was attempting this while raising two children as a single parent. Did she achieve her goal? Yes, she did.

As the years progressed, she continued raising her kids as a single parent. The amazing thing to see was the number of sacrifices that she made so that her kids could take dance, do karate, or participate in any other activity they wanted to. If there was a way, she would try to find it.

This individual ensured that her children were in church every Sunday whether she had a car to drive or it required them walking to church from their home. This person also volunteered to serve whenever any opportunity arose. You could always rely on her to step in when a certain ministry was shorthanded and needed help.

In more recent years, these activities were done while this individual was suffering from the effects of cancer and the treatments that she was undergoing. Never once did you hear a complaint or did she say she couldn’t help.

In her final days, I saw the church family that she once worked so hard to support step up even more and support her. I saw the little boy that I had watched grow up in the church step up and become her caretaker. I saw her daughter, supported by church members, begin to process the realization of what was happening and realize how she would cope with the inevitable.

When she passed, even more stories of her determination and sacrifices were shared as tears were shed. The fact that she is no longer suffering is a relief, but her absence going forward and loss of the impact she had on others will be felt for years to come.

As we left the cemetery, I began to wonder about the impact that I have. I began to think about how my family actually sees me living out my life.

Meredith Hogg had more of an impact on others than I think she ever really knew.

So often we make excuses as to why we don’t get things done. We put our wants before others’ needs. We give up when things get tough.

So going forward, I commit to be a little more like Meredith. I will ensure my children have what they need (and what they want within reason) even when it means sacrificing on my part. I will not let excuses or hardships impede me from bettering myself. I commit to having my children grow up in the church. I will ensure that I help others whenever an opportunity arises.

I think if we all add a little Meredith to our daily lives this world would be a much better place.