Excerpt from a recent memorial given for Teresa, a dear family friend

by Pastor Jess Foglesong

God reveals His character and purposes in a variety of ways and forms. One very obvious form are --- trees. For example when we look at a tall, magnificent Pine, or Redwood tree, we think of beauty, of majesty, of power, of perfection, of symmetry, of serenity, of pristine glory .... and so much more. Its leaves are evergreen ... and ...so we think of everlasting life!

On the other hand: the oak tree is short, disorganize and grows wildly crooked, imperfect, impeded, and seemingly chaotic in its shape. Its leaves fall off during the winter months. It is an illustration (God painting a picture of good and bad) of tainted humanity-- of life here on earth.

The oak tree has roots that go deep into the ground, therefore anchored to this earth.

The Redwood has shallow roots and is not anchored, or tied to the earth. The illustration suggest that the Redwood tree symbolically represents all believers in their perfect form; mature and ready; pointing it's way "home" --- like a rocket ship ready to blast off!

Beautiful Teresa (although was physically impeded) on the outside, more like the characteristic of the oak tree. Not so ... in God's eyes! He sees each and every one of us through special glasses -- through His Son, The Christ. He looks inside of us! He looks into our hearts! He gazed into Teresa’s heart and saw: goodness, kindness, compassion, gentleness, thoughtfulness, unselfishness, decency, understanding, patience ... He saw humility -- and so much more. All of these He viewed in Teresa as she lived here on earth! And so when cancer consumed her body (like an oak tree) He said come "Home'' ... He saw her as the Redwood tree .... And so, She has gone ahead of all of us .... she has gone to the meeting place; and there has taken the hand of her comforter (The Christ of God) her representative, her escort ..... into the sparkling gates of heaven.

As written in 2nd Isaiah 55: 8 - 13

This … is the very word of the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts (higher) than your thoughts; and as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return until they have watered the earth, making it blossom and bear fruit, and give seed for sowing and bread to eat, so shall the word which comes from my mouth prevail; it shall not return to me fruitless without accomplishing my purpose or succeeding in the task I gave it.

You shall indeed go out with joy and be led forth in peace.

Before you, mountains and hills shall break into cries of joy, and all the trees of the wild shall clap their hands, pine and redwood-trees shall shoot up in place of camel-thorn; ..... myrtles instead of briars; all this shall win the Lord's great name, imperishable, a sign for all times.

Our Teresa has bore fruit and has matured into the glorious, magnificent everlasting Redwood Tree .... standing tall: free of pain, free of disabilities, free of all impairments ... free of cancer!

She has graduated to a higher level; she has gone ahead of all of us ... she has moved her tassel, from right to left ... and has received her diploma into the comforting care of her true Father in heaven.

The following is great message of hope and comfort that I feel she would want all of us to know:

Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away into the next room.

Whatever we were to each other, we still are.
Please, call me by my old familiar name.

Speak of me in the same easy way you always did.
Laugh, as we always laughed, at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Think of me and smile.
Let my name be the household name it always was,
Spoken without the shadow of a ghost in it.

Life means all it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.

Death is inevitable, so why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, - for an interval very near.

Nothing is past or lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before,
Only better and happier.

Together forever.
All is well. 

It was Teresa's constant smile and laughter that was her trademark ... it radiated throughout all who knew her --- friends and family. It was her gift to all who met her: friend or even stranger ... she knew the importance of a smile:

Smiling is infectious; you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled, you started smiling too.

When you passed around the corner and someone saw your grin,
When he smiled you realized you'd passed it onto him.

You thought about that smile, then realized its worth,
A single smile, just like yours, could travel round the earth.

So, if you feel a smile begin, don't leave it undetected,
start an epidemic quick, and get the world infected!

We all became infected by Teresa’s smile ... and her warmth; and we all miss that sparkle ... of who she was.

We can shed tears that she is gone
or we can smile because she has lived.

We can close our eyes and pray that she will come back
or we can open our eyes and see all she has left.

Our hearts can be empty because we can't see her
or we can be full of the love we shared.

We can turn our back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or we can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

We can remember her and only that she's gone
or we can cherish her memory and let it live on.

We can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn our back

or we can do what she would want:
smile, open our eyes, love and go on.

So .......... Friends and Family:

(A song: Smile, by Charlie Chaplin)

Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by

If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through, for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near …

That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?

You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile ….

Teresa would want that ..............

Teresa ….. You toiled so hard for those you loved. You said goodbye … in your own way like a dove; your spirit flew before we knew, your work on earth was done.We miss you now, our hearts are sore, as time goes by we miss you more. Your loving smile, your gentle face: no one can fill your vacant place. Your life was love and labor. Your love for your family true.You did the best for all of us. We will always remember you … and we Celebrate your life … and now and beyond!

Let us pray …..
The Lords Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory.
for ever and ever.

Pastor Jess Foglesong