We just got back from the funeral for my hubby's Opa. DH did the speech from the family. He wrote it and I polished it up a bit for him. Obviously it's not SUPER polished, as there isn't a lot of time involved in planning a funeral, and there's a lot to do, so it was written the night before and 'edited' a few hours before. The speech assumes a piece of knowledge that I'll add here: my DH's Oma died two years ago after five years of slowly getting nearer and nearer to death. Her husband was by her side faithfully tending to her, even going so far as to sell thier home and minimize thier possessions into a condo so he could focus completely on her instead of maintenence.
Here is my husband's speech, a beautiful one in my opinion:
Today is a day of sorrow, but moreso one of celebration. It is Opa's third day in heaven with Oma and, more importantly, his Heavenly Father. The sorrow is reserved for us here, that we don't have the priveledge of Opa's company anymore.
I'll touch briefly on Opa's history and how he wound up in our lives in (town in MB). He was born Dec 17, 1927 in Langezaag, Nederlanden. On July 16, 1952 he married Oma, and then he immigrated to Canada in November of 1952. In Oakville, Ontario, Opa and Oma were blessed with two children - Ann and Harry. After years Burlington, Opa and Oma moved to (town in), MB in June 1994 to be close to Ann and to thier grandkids.
Opa was one of those people that accepted everyone as friend or family. I remember countless times that I, just as many others, would just talk and talk with Opa, and he always knew just when to listen and just when to offer advice. He was a simple man with a very straight and narrow path and one goal, to serve the Lord to the best of his ability. Whether that was by handing out turkey at Christmas or volunteering at the local school as a shop teacher. Aside from his one true passion of serving the Lord, his other passions including woodworking, landscaping, and most of all, his wife.
We all know with how much dedication he cared for Oma in her last few years. He loved her so much; in these last few days with Opa there was nothing he talked about more than how he wanted to be with her and with his Heavenly Father. While this at first made us all feel deeply sad, we then as a family came to realize that this is a blessing. All our lives we strive to teach our children the way of the Lord, and when it's our turn we can only hope to teach them again by showing that same enthusiasm. As we sat with Opa, helping him and praying with him, trying to offer him comfort, he was as usual comforting us, reminding us how much he had to look forwards to; he was so excited to see his Martha again!
As with most areas of his life, Opa took time and care in handling wood. He would patiently and lovingly coax simple wood into beautiful, intricate pieces, as you can see with this clock here. (beautiful clock Opa made on display in the front) He loved it.
We should remember that the Lord did the same with Opa. He lovingly coaxed and patiently crafted Opa into a beautiful creation, and He loved Opa.
We as family, friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ should take all of this we know from Opa and remember how little time we really must be on this earth before we too can shed our earthly bodies and take up our heavenly bodies as perfect creations. When we can spend all of eternity singing, praising, and glorifying the Lord in heaven, these few moments on this earth will be as nothing. And we can all look forwards with as much enthusiasm to when we have our turn, to join Opa and Oma and see them again as we bow down before our heavenly Father.