It was a rainy day today, the saddest type of day for a funeral. I understand etiquette and I had misgivings about bringing the baby, but we had no alternative so the three of us bundled up and we set out in the blustery downpour. I plied the little one with snacks and drinks throughout the service in an effort to keep him quiet and still. Of course, being a typical toddler, he could not sit quietly for two hours and my husband had to periodically remove him from the sanctuary.
Juanita Sarmiento lived nearly 90 years. She is survived by her husband, seven children, 28 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren. Last June, she and her husband celebrated 66 years of marriage. Today I heard her family tell many sweet, and some downright humorous, anecdotes about their beloved Mama, Tia, y Abuela. One of her sons indicated that she used to say that her children weren't really hers, but that they were on loan from God. He added that she was also on loan and God wanted her to be with Him. Many were sad to say goodbye to this remarkable woman, but also expressed their confidence of seeing her again in Heaven. And it's true that even in death, we have hope.
Mrs. Sarmiento's daughter Yolanda worked with my husband for many years, many years ago. My husband and Yolanda have kept in touch and remained friends. We invited her to our wedding and she brought her parents, which is how I met Mr. and Mrs. Sarmiento. Though I only had the privilege to meet Mrs. Sarmiento but once, I could tell that she was a kind and loving woman. The innumerable mourners today verified what I suspected back in June 2005.
Toward the end of the service, it was time to pay our respects and offer condolences to the family. We didn't bring in the stroller, so my husband was holding the little one. We solemnly moved past the casket and approached the family. Yolanda, and the rest of the family, were so pleased to see us, to see our son. A few family members teased smiles and giggles out of my sweet boy. Where there had been tears, there were now smiles. I thank God for the blessing of my son every single day, but I will give additional thanks tonight for the blessings he has brought to others.
My son brought the blessing of joy to a grieving family, if only for a brief moment. And I am so thankful for that.