|Doris and I at my baby shower in Orlando, circa 2008.|
Today, I celebrated the life of one of my best friends Doris. She was 90 years old, almost 91 early next month. She was the mother of three, grandmother to ten and great grandmother to four.
We met in the late 80's through The Salvation Army Orlando Corps through the Best Friend program, a mentoring program for teenagers to be paired with an elder of the church. The list had several people on it and I remember initially asking if Sam (her husband) could be best friends. Of course, at the time they were trying to pair women with girls and men with boys vs. the other way around. Well, it was meant to be because for the next 25 plus years, Doris and I became best of friends. And earlier at her funeral service, I shared that she was not only my Corps Cadet Best Friend (because of the program) but one of the best friends I've ever had.
I'm so glad I was able to attend her Celebration of Life this morning with friends and Doris' family. A friend's tribute was given by Thelma Birmingham and her son, Ken, gave a tribute to his mother. Beautiful words for a beautiful person.
On the back of the program was a poem written by Vickie Couture. Doris was a poet herself so it made my heart smile to read a poem dedicated for her.
I have known her for as long as I have lived,
To all she met, she did give and give,
She was our Sunday School teacher,
You know, a children's preacher,
Who showered us with love,
Offering guidance from above,
Pretty to look at, and oh how she smiled,
Patient and caring all the while.
Her time on earth is done, from here she did depart,
But forever she will live, in each and every heart.
For Heaven's gates would wait no more,
On earth, her memory, we shall adore.
I was honored to present the Benediction for the service. All morning my head was filled with memories where Doris showed her kindness and her sense of humor. She was one of a kind and so special for many reasons.
Dear Heavenly Father -Today we come to you in gratitude and love for the gift of life, for the gift of friendship and the gift of unconditional love through Doris Fowle. We thank you for the time - whether big or small - that we all had with Doris. She did great things for your Kingdom, and will be missed by her family and friends. She lived an amazing life as your child, your servant, as a daughter, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a great grandmother and a beautiful person. She lived and did so much for others. (She did so much for me and for my family.) Thank you God for showing us your love through Doris. We will always remember her, and we are eternally grateful for her life. In your name we pray...Amen.
Thank you Doris for your friendship and your love. The world is a better place because of you.
Best friends always,