Saturday, April 28, 2012

RIP Mrs. Becraft

Apparently she was an incredible woman.
I didn't know her but when I listen to those who did it makes me feel as if I was missing out on an important relationship.
What started out as a regular school day ended in tragedy.

A year ago I was sitting in Portland (of all places!!) at Donald Miller's Storyline Conference. He and his book "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" convinced me that I needed to do something about my life.
I came to believe that if my life were to become a novel on your bookshelf, you'd be incredibly unlikely to ever read my story. I was a wimpy character. I lacked luster and vitality. My obstacles were overtaking me and never did it cross my mind to face them with bravery. My story was, in no uncertain terms, a rambling string of fortunate and unfortunate events (which, I learned, is the exact opposite of what makes a good storyline). Instead of taking risks I choose safety and instead of dealing with conflict I ran from people. No wonder I was dissatisfied with life.
Then, one day I woke up and decided something had to change.
At the conference I heard Michael Hyatt, former Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers and popular blogger, talk about the importance of having a Life Plan. I was instantly intrigued.
The first lesson of the plan? (it's a free e book - you can have one too just go to the link)
Imagine how you expect your funeral to be.
Gruesome? or Brilliant?
My soul jumped at the idea. Immediately I imagined what words I would long to hear. I wanted it to be said I was

  • fun

  • brave

  • a good writer

  • always making others feel better, never worse about themselves

  • a good mother who loved her children well

  • in head-over-heels love with my husband and our journey

Then it dawned on me; if I wanted those things to be said about me in the future, I had better start behaving that way today.
That's how my life changed.
That's why I'm blogging here at To Write a Better Story.
Mrs. Becraft passed suddenly this week. Her friends, peers, students and family will gather for her visitation tomorrow and funeral on Monday. Lots of stories will be told about her. About her life.
When my school received word of her passing I was there to catch a grieving teacher in an embrace. "There, there" I soothed and added a generic "I guess it's a good reminder to live each day as it's our last."
"Oh she did!" my friend perked up. "Oh she really did! She was always laughing and making the break room more fun at lunch. Her voice could be heard down the hallway. She was so cheerful everyday!"

Never had I heard such a strong conviction someone's voice.
I didn't know her but instantly I wished I had.
Just a few weeks ago a Mrs. Becraft came through my checkout line at the store. As I rung up her items I asked if she was a teacher. "No," she said warily, "why?"
"Well," I answered "my twins are hoping to get a Mrs. Beacraft as a teacher next year. They say she's really kind and if you were her I would have liked to introduce myself."

The woman replied, "No, that's my daughter-in-law" with just the slightest grin!
"Well, she must be a great teacher." I complimented.
I didn't even know her but - in a way - I did.
I won't be attending services for Mrs. Becraft. I've heard there is a concern about space and the number of attendees.
That's the kind of funeral I hope to have.
I hope when I'm gone the place is packed - not because I was popular - but because my
and family members thought I was
kind and
I even hope those who don't know me hear of my generous heart, warm spirit and loud laugh.
Rest in Peace Mrs. Becraft.
You will be missed.

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