Dear Darlin’ Tamara Grace,
You will be much more dearly and deeply missed by many more than you might have imagined. I hope you absolutely and profoundly know that now. You were my favorite cousin. Weren’t you everyone’s favorite? And everyone was your favorite. You loved everyone. You saw even the least goodness. You were the life of every party and the light of every little visit. You were the one we were all looking to see and talk to. The ‘Most Popular’. The super fun one. Laughter led and followed you. You always got invited, and you always invited everyone. You didn’t want anyone left out. You were a delightful social butterfly, but so much more, you were a living angel on this planet. Now you’ve got your wings. When you aren’t flying high above, I’m sure you are now a guardian angel flitting amongst us all, bestowing comfort and reassurance. I’ve felt your spirit hugs since you left us.
You were ‘a glass entirely full’ kind of person. Always positive and joyful. Full of hope and grace. Preciously rare on this earth. Adventure girl. Supremely strong, yet oh so soft. You generously shared love, warmth and joy wherever you went. And you wanted to be everywhere at once. You tried to do absolutely everything, for everyone. Every day had at least a week’s worth of action in it. It seems you wanted to live your one hundred years of life jam-packed into far less years. Far too few.
You’d easily win any ‘Miss Congeniality’ contest, but you were beauty contest gorgeous too. Truly beautiful inside and out. Some call you ‘Sleeping Beauty’ now. There was something absolutely magical about you. Heavenly. You were an always bright light in a sometimes too dark world. Without guile. Wonderfully childlike. You’re the definition of unconditional charitable love itself.
From First Corinthians: 13 (King James Bible version)
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease: whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Tam, you were true charity. I want to be more like you. I wish the world were. We can try. We could succeed. Love is the key.