We went to the funeral home for Peryl's viewing. There was a huge line, and we talked with others while we waited in line. None of their children live close by. Ken thanked us for the cold cuts, and began to ask questions about how I was doing. That's his nature. Still it made me want to cry. I asked one of his sons specifically when the family will be leaving so that I could spread the word. We've already decided to help out with meals, stop in to visit. We cannot bear for our neighbor to be alone. The son says that he thinks his father will come home with one of the children for a while, and that makes us glad. They are a couple who took great delight in their family, so this is a good thing for Ken. Later, when we talked to Ken, his voice cracked, when he said, "I don't know how I can go on living in that house by myself. I don't think I can do it."
I think about all the marks that a person can make on this world. I think of the great men and women celebrated by history, by the media. I think about what it means to be important, to make a difference. I look at Ken and Peryl's grandchildren, many with quivering chins and red eyes. I look at Ken's gaunt face. There was a teeny, tiny lady named Peryl that no one outside our little corner of the world ever heard of, and realize that there are different ways to measure importance. Peryl was important. I look at her lying small in her huge casket, her worn and well used Bible lying next to her. She was a hardworking dynamo who loved her family and God.
She left quite a mark on her corner of the world.
Peryl was an important woman.