Heaven Sent: April 20, 1919 Glory Bound: December 12, 2016
Eulogy: Kimme Carlos (Granddaughter)
Be Hopeful in Christ and Diligent in Service
It is fitting and right to first give honor, praise and glory to the Most High God, in whom we move and breathe and have our being. Pray with me for a moment.
Lord God, we are gathered here to lay our matriarch to rest. Hold us through today, Lord. Cover us and carry us as we grieve our loss. Keep me faithful and obedient, Lord. Let me decrease so that You may increase. Let me be a vessel to bring forth your Word. Amen!
We have come today to lay to rest Vioris Louise Carlos; wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, great-great grandmother and faithful servant. I won’t be before you long today.
Let me tell you a story. I came in on the train from New Jersey yesterday. And I knew I needed to finish Nana’s eulogy. So I kept trying to find a quiet corner in Aunty Hepsy’s house to write. But there were so many people coming in and out. And every time someone saw me they would shout, “Kimme! I haven’t seen you in years! Kimme! It’s so great to see you! Do you remember me?” And I couldn’t get anything done. So I went to Aunt Hepsy and told her I was going to her bedroom to finish writing. “Go ahead. I won’t let anyone bother you,” she said. Shortly my cousin Arie and his beautiful wife Chantel came in the room. Chantel looked at me and said, “You’re just back here chillin.” “I’m trying to finish Nana’s eulogy,” I said. Arie looked at me and said, “You were on the train for seven hours and you’re just writing Nana’s eulogy now?!”
Well, you see, I was waiting on a Word from the Lord. I had Nana’s biography part all written out. And I had the scriptures but I was still struggling. I would write a little bit and cry a little bit and read a little bit more of the scriptures. But I know my Heavenly Father, like my earthly father, knows that I have a tendency to get excited. So He always gives me his Word a little bit at a time. Because you see, as quiet as it’s kept, it’s really not about me. It’s not even about Nana. It’s about the Lord. So no, last night, I still hadn’t finished Nana’s eulogy. But about 7:30 this morning, the Lord woke me up and the Word came. And I want to share that with you today.
When my Aunt Hepsy asked me about ten years ago now to give Nana’s eulogy, I was both honored and concerned. I wanted to be sure it was Nana’s wish and it was important to me that her eulogy would honor her properly in the eyes of my father, my Uncle Earl, My Aunt Hepsy and my Uncle Andrew – who has no gone before us now. Last week, Auntie called to remind me of my promise. “Remember what your Nana said, when we asked her permission for you to give the eulogy?” she said. “She said, ‘Yes, just don’t give it too soon.” That made me smile. And it gave me pause. Because, for us, on this side of Heaven, whenever Nana left us, it would have been too soon. Just one more hug, one more kiss, one more impart of wisdom and knowledge. Yet, let us not be confused. For as believers we know it is only ourselves that we grieve for. For the servant Vioris Carlos is now and forevermore in the arms of the Lord; a far better place than where any of us are today.
Whenever we lose an elder, I am always amazed at the life that has been brought forth through them. It was Nana’s faithfulness to the Lord and her steadfast commitment to her family that stood as a beacon for those who came after her to continue the legacy of what is still left to be done. I asked my father to tell me one thing about Nana. He said, “She was the rock of the family.” I asked Uncle Earl and Aunt Hepsy the same. “ Uncle Earl said, “She was always there for me” and Aunt Hepsy said, “She was the wind beneath my wings.”
Just for a moment I want us to take heed to the Apostle Paul in Thessalonians 4:13,
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. – Thessalonians 4:13
We know that Nana believed and through her hopeful prayers and petitions she carried each of us every day. So it is that which I want to share with you today. Let us be – in this day – hopeful yet diligent.
You see, I know we are all grieving today. The pain is real and we are entitled to it. But let us also remember the promise of that next life; that eternal life that, as believers, waits for us all. You see, for in the end that is all any of us are really hoping for… to get back home to the shelter of the Father.
I have a cousin named Manny. And he has a daughter named Lilly. Now Lilly loves her father. She can’t stand to be away from him. Lilly just goes crazy without him. Well last night, when Manny stepped outside for a moment Lilly ran from room to room looking for him. And every time she turned a corner she would call out, “Daddy?” “Daddy?” Lilly was hopeful that if she just kept searching she would find her father…because she knew there was shelter in her father’s arms. So we must remain hopeful, like this little child.
We must remain hopeful that one day this old world will pass us by and there will be…
No more pain and heartache
No more fear, anxiety and worry
No more struggle, stress and strain
In the Father’s house there are many rooms. That means there is room – plenty of room – for me and for you. And there will be no more condemnation or judgement by man. No more temptation by evil. In the Father’s house there is…
No more sickness of mind or body
No racial divide
No discrimination of gender, sexuality, religion, age or disability
So we must remain hopeful; ever hopeful; for the peace of the Lord and the eternal life that waits for us – and which Nana has already claimed – on the other side of heaven.
I encourage you today, Family, as we give reverence to Nana Vioris L. Carlos, and all that her life has brought forth… let us remember the words of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
In this new season we are charged now to be diligent in our hopefulness. And to take up the mantel to continue the work. For like Nana had, we still have…
Children and grandchildren t raise, to encourage and to pray for
Knowledge to gain and wisdom to share
Injustices to fight and generations to lead
Communities to build and barriers and divisions to tear down
Lives to better and spirits to lift
In this season we must remember our purpose. There is still work to be done and we must be diligent to do it. So I say to you, on this day of mourning and yet rejoicing… understand this. Get this if nothing else…
The Lord said, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And Nana has earned her reward in glory. Let us follow suit by remaining diligent in service and hopeful in the Lord, that one day when it is our turn to pass the mantel unto those who come after us. That we will find Nana Vioris waiting on the other side of Heaven; where we will once again meet.
Be hopeful and diligent, Family, and be comforted on your journey. For eternity is yet to come.
With that I say Glory! Glory and Amen!