Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” John 11:25 (NIV)
There are very few people on this earth that I have wished I could have met face to face and shook their hand. I first realized this when Cary Grant died in 1986. I was fifteen years old and had grown up watching his movies, secretly wishing I was Doris Day in “That Touch of Mink”. He was definitely my first crush. It then dawned on me that death was an instant separation, temporary for some and permanent for others, depending on whether or not you have become a child of God. I don’t know where Cary Grant stood with the Almighty, and I wouldn’t try to assume. To my fifteen-year-old brain, all I knew is that it was an end of an era. He was greatly valued by me and by many for his talent on the big screen.
When George H. W. Bush passed from this earth last week, Jase contemplated waking me up in the middle of the night when he received the alert on his phone. He knows how much I admire this man. The 1992 Presidential election was the first time I was old enough to vote for President. Before President Bush’s re-election campaign, Jase and I were newly married and watched both the start and the end of the Gulf War in a span of just a few days. I remember standing in front of the TV and looking back at Jase sitting on our second-hand sofa in our apartment and saying,”Oh, he’s definitely going to win re-election now!” Over the next few weeks and months, his approval rating soared to 93%! I voted for him. He lost.
When a younger George W. Bush took office, I learned even more about this amazing family and their dedication and service to their country, their family and to God. When I read the book titled “41: A Portrait of My Father”, I was a goner. I was convinced that the patriarch of this family was the real deal. George W. wrote this book about his own father. Through first-hand stories of life at home with a dad who put his family before his work or his earthly success, President George W. Bush conveyed how purposefully his father was in showing each of his family members that they are valuable and that they were made for a purpose.
The pomp and circumstance surrounding every second of the six days following his death was a performance to the likes that no one has ever seen before. The precision of every detail was carried out with such care, such respect, such honor. The value of the life of President Bush was mirrored by the value bestowed upon his memorial.
As I traveled with Mia to her doctor’s appointment in Dallas and back home on Wednesday, I listened intently to the entire day’s ceremonial events as they unfolded, every last sound of the marching footsteps, the bugals playing, the sniffles and laughter in the audience, the speeches made from his long-time friends and even his son. When I got home, I found the entire funeral day was being replayed on C-SPAN, and I watched in silence into the night. I guess I’m a geek like that. I just needed to see it. See the faces. See the devotion.
This man touched many more people’s lives in a personal way due to the value he put on them than I had ever known. At his State funeral, President Bush said about his own father, “He cared more about character than pedigree.” His life validated that statement to no end. But even in 2011, when President Bush was approached by his staff to start finalizing his funeral arrangements, he looked up and said, “Do you think anyone will come?” Whether spoken in jest or not, it showed an underlying human doubt in his own mind of Do I matter? Don’t we all wonder that? Will anyone come? Did I make a difference in anyone’s life?
Our country showed the Bush family to the fullest effects possible that we valued President George H. W. Bush’s life. He was, in my humble opinion, the greatest man to hold the office of the presidency of the United States of America. The beauty and dignity of the ceremonial events and speeches surrounding this past week can easily validate that opinion.
So what about the rest of us? Upon what and whom do we place value? Chances are no one reading this blog will ever be put in that position of becoming leader of the free world and will, therefore, never receive such an overwhelming send-off from this life. However, each of us are valuable. The only difference may be that while so many struggle to find purpose to their lives, George H. W. Bush, started his life by serving others and, therefore, finding his.
Through service you find purpose. Through purpose you find your value.
The leaves on a painting of a tree hanging in our entry-way at Laminin are now being filled with the names of each and every woman who has worked for our company since its inception. Some have succeeded in kicking their drug habit and finding purpose to their lives while others are still struggling and doubting that they have true value. Whatever stage of life they are in, they are valuable to the current success of this company, valuable to me personally and most of all, valuable to the Creator who knitted them together with every sense of precision to minute detail to make her exactly who she needs to be to serve Him and others, find purpose and feel valued.
Do you know your true purpose? Serve God. In that, you will find value.
I regret not ever having met President George Herbert Walker Bush face to face here on earth. But I am confident I will get to hug him one day. Maybe I’ll even meet Cary Grant, too. Well, a girl can dream, right?
Have a valuable week!