Although I never met Jim, (his sister, Sandy, is my friend), I learned some things about him as his friends and family paid tribute at his memorial service on Saturday, April 21st.
I looked at the photograph collages displayed at his service and it was clear that he was a man who was full of life. His smile was huge and his spirit, even larger; there was just no denying it. Picture after picture, he was surrounded by smiling friends and family. I suspect he was greatly responsible for those happy faces, as I couldn’t help but grin as I looked at them.
I learned that he was a really good man who loved life and having fun. He loved shooting pool, bowling, golfing, riding his motorcycle, dirt bikes, and hunting, boating, snowmobiling, and playing video games. He loved watching hockey and the Red Wings. Someone named the things he loved to do. I remember, it was like, everything. Wow, the guy knew how to live. He was a wonderful son, brother, father, and uncle, and he had A LOT of friends.
Every time one of them reminisced about him, they smiled. Even as their tears flowed . . .
What a testament to a man.
I sat, reflecting on the crowded room of tearful, smiling, grieving faces, and thought about the man who had brought them all together and how they honored him.
Anyone would be so lucky to be remembered that way . . . but not everyone would be so deserving of it. It is obvious that he was.
And so, this remarkable man whom I never met has inspired this week’s blog. He brought me to a place I needed to revisit.
This one’s for you, Jimmy Bujno, a man who lived life well.
EARNING MY EULOGY
I sat at a funeral recently and was profoundly touched at the sight of those in mourning. What honor they bestowed upon their loved one with their presence, words, and tears.
I’ve given many eulogies over the years. Too many times I’ve stood at the podium singing the praises of someone I had loved and lost. At times I wondered who would be left to sing for me. And when I looked around, it broke my heart; there was no one.
I had to take a close look at why. And then I needed to climb the steep steps to change. I needed to make some important adjustments in ME and the way I was behaving and living. And I had to learn to be a better friend. And I am learning; because I have some pretty amazing girlfriends who teach me by example every day.
Now, I’m pretty sure, there would be someone to say a kind word or two on my behalf after I’m gone.
A friend jokingly told me that she was working on the photo collage for her “someday funeral” NOW because she didn’t trust her sons to pick out her best, most flattering pictures. Although we mused over this, it got me to thinking.
NOW IS THE TIME to create the memories and live the experiences that are reflected in those wonderful photograph collages. And NOW IS THE TIME to become the person worthy of the eulogy that I would want spoken in my honor.
But I had to wonder, “How would I be remembered?”
Upon reflection, these are the words that I would want spoken:
“Julia was a kind and compassionate Christian woman who helped people and animals humbly and without expectation. Through her writing she shared her greatest weaknesses and joys in an effort to comfort, share, and show a new perspective. She was honest, brave, and passionate. She strived to be a better person, lived life to the fullest; made us laugh, and was well-loved. She was a good friend.”
Just as my friend gathers the pictures she hopes will be displayed at her own memorial service one day, I will strive to live my life NOW in a way that will earn me these words LATER.
We determine how we are to be remembered.
Tell me, what do you want your eulogy to say?