I was noticing a scratch on a piece of furniture when an old memory surfaced. It was of a story I’d read many years ago, written, I believe, by a Unity minister. The details may not be exact but the gist is close enough.
She told of visiting a dear friend who was not easily able to get out. It was a pleasure to come to her home, which always seemed filled with interesting and lovely objects, everything shining with a patina of polish and loving care. And over all, the lady spread her mantle of charm and gracious welcome. Her invitations were sought and prized, and her guests uniformly left her with reluctance – and happy memories.
And it came to pass that the friend died. The minister had been left a small bequest – a painting she had once admired – and on impulse had gone to the home, where she knew the lady’s sister would be sorting through her things. She wanted to visit once more the place of which she had such fond memories.
It came as a surprise to her when she walked in, that the rooms were not at all as she recalled. Everything was shabby and a little worn. The paint was peeling, the upholstery faded. The pretty little shepherdesses and their swains, the lovely china plates, all were revealed in the harsh light to be inexpensive souvenirs. It seems the lady had imbued her modest possessions with the grace and beauty of her inner being, so that everything and everyone around her, became a little finer through being in her company.
As an epitaph, you couldn’t do much better. Fitting words for a life well lived.