This past weekend (June 25, 2011) we joined in a celebration of the life of Beatrice at her memorial service.
During the service, June Tryon, daughter-in-law of Bea, read a newspaper clipping that was found among Bea’s household items after her passing. Nobody is sure why she cut this out and saved it. But in discussions following the service, it was clearly the concensus of those attending that the clipping was a remarkable representation of Bea’s life and character. The words, by an anonymous author, appeared several times in the syndicated newspaper column by Ann Landers and was probably how Bea happened to discover it. The clipping said:
Lord, thou knowest that I am growing older.
Keep me from becoming too talkative, and particularly keep me from falling into the tiresome habit of expressing an opinion on every subject.
Release me from the craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs.
Give me grace, dear Lord, to listen to others describe their aches and pains.
Help me endure the boredom with patience and keep my lips sealed, for my own aches and pains are increasing in number and intensity.
Teach me the glorious lesson that, occasionally, I might be mistaken.
Keep me reasonably sweet. I do not wish to be a saint. (Saints are so hard to live with), but a sour old person is the work of the devil.
Make me thoughtful but not moody. Helpful, but not pushy. Independent, yet able to accept the gracious favors that others wish to bestow on me.
Free me of the notion that simply because I have lived a long time, I am wiser than those who have not lived so long.
If I do not approve of some of the changes that have taken place in recent years, give me the wisdom to keep my mouth shut.
Lord knows that when the end comes, I would like to have a friend or two left.