It only took me until my grandmother was 99 and gone to realize that she has been my spiritual mentor all these years. Funny how the passing of someone makes you stop and reflect and realize truth.
My mother asked me to speak at her memorial. I could have shared numerous memories and stories, some very funny and some more sad. Some of our interactions were good, and actually some of our interactions were a bit bad. (I regret the times I got mad at her, but we always made up.) I loved her very much, and should say I still love her since that continues on even after a person dies.
In my college years I began to realize how alike we were. I think if we had both taken a personality test together we would have come out the same...or pretty close. We actually have a lot in common, even marrying men with the same temperaments. We share many of the same talents and hobbies, and both of us thrived during our college experiences. We both love writing, reading, and learning new things. We both have/had the same passion for travel and for connecting with friends and maintaining relationships. We also both were and are really good at speaking a bit too bluntly and sometimes saying things we regret.
During the memorial, a film of her life was made. My cousin who was sitting next to me leaned over and said, "You look a lot like her." That only brought forth more tears. (I'm not sure if we look that alike, but our faces have a similar shape.)
The other way that we are alike is in how we connect to God: through our writing. I have a whole chest full of journals: letters and prayers to God and so did she. We both tear up easily when we talk about the moving of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
So instead of sharing memories at her memorial, I shared her spiritual significance to me personally. She was a woman who was always looking for the movement of the Holy Spirit and how she could be involved in that movement. Who could she help, hug, encourage, speak to, serve, spend time with, etc. She was always focused on the question, "What now?"
That is a question I find myself asking daily, and now when I ask that (a simple act of surrender really) I will see her face smiling at me, such a sweet face it was.