My sister died on Friday, July 19, 2019. To say I am sad is an understatement but I don’t have words to describe how I actually feel.
She lived in Colorado Springs with her husband and 18 year old son still at home. Her 4 daughters are grown and one even has a new baby.
I spoke at her funeral on July 23rd and I thought I would post the text of my talk here.
Tammy and I are just 14 months apart in age. And we were close. We had matching dresses and matching dolls. We shared a room until I was 14 I think we shared a bed for a lot of that time. Mom and dad can confirm that.
She was always smarter than me. She knew a lot of stuff. She read everything. She was my go to person for information about phones, computers and all things electronic. She was happy to listen about my nonsense even though she always had too many of her own problems.
Tammy also had a terrible habit of getting into trouble because she liked to say whatever came into her mind. That never changed . From kindergarten until last week.
Now let me tell you something I know with surety. God loves his children. All of them. Every single person living on the earth.
He has a plan for us to learn and grow and become better. The plan is this giant thing that encompasses all of the people who have ever lived or who will live. It’s massive and can sometimes be hard to comprehend. But the beautiful thing about it is that we are sent here to live in families like miniature versions of God’s awesome plan.
We have children who we love no matter what and we take care of them and teach them until it’s time to send them off into the world on their own. But never really on their own because we as parents and sisters and brothers are still there to abuse and help them.
Part of being a parent or a heavenly parent for that matter is setting rules for or children to hello keep them safe and those rules can also teach other lessons like self control.
The funny thing about those loving rules is we often can’t wait until we don’t have to live by them anymore.
Recently I had a little insight about those rules. Bear with me because I’m getting back to Tammy.
Anyway, Moses went up the mountain and he ultimately came back with 10 commandments. We all know those commandments. Some are easier to live than others.
After those commandments were given a lot of time went by and Jesus Christ was born. He came here to teach us in person how to live and also to provide an atonement for all of those crazy things we do as mortals as we are learning to be great so that we can return to live again with God and our families.
So, Jesus was talking to some people, like he did a lot, and someone asked him which was the greatest commandment. Meaning which was the most important. And Jesus said the first and great commandment is to love God with all of your heart, might, mind and strength.
And then he said the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Two rules. That’s it.
And if you think about it the first 3 commandments are about loving God and the next 7 are all about loving those around us.
I can’t tell you how many times Tammy would get frustrated with people in general and she would tell me she just didn’t like people. I would laugh every time. Sometimes just to myself because I never wanted her mad at me. Too scary.
But I laughed because if Tammy met you and you needed something she would give it to you. She would give you her stuff until she had nothing left.
She was helpful and she was kind even though she always talked like she was ready for a fight. She loved us all and we love her.
Tammy was a great example of living the second great commandment every single day.
I don’t know why she got all of the hard things she got in life. And there were a lot of them. Her body was a mess. But she loved us.
Tammy has a beautiful family and her kids stick together and care about each other. That’s a huge success.
When I think about all of the people she affected in positive ways I am so thankful for her.
One of the most beautiful things about God’s plan for us is that we will all be together again. These family connections are not temporary things that dissolve when we die. And so even though we will miss her now we can see her again except she will be healthy and strong when that happens. I look forward to that day.