This morning when I woke up I thought I would share the memorial address from the funerl for Lisa Baluk. This is obviously a very unusual thing to do - however, this was a very unusual and beautiful young woman.
What I have realized is that she really embodied a person - who - as much as possible was present to her life. This is what I said about her.
Memorial Address - for Lisa
I have some notes from Lisa from a meeting I had with her December 27th to plan this day.It is written on a pad which says -
“This is the day that the Lord has made
Let us rejoice and be glad in it”
And she has Bible verses written - which you have heard
And these words: Fun! Fun! Fun! Celebrate! Celebrate! Celebrate!
No need to wear black in color scheme
Bright bold colors encouraged - cheerful and happy
I know people will be mournful, but I also want happy time to shine through And so…..celebrate
I celebrate a young woman of wonder - who loved tinkerbell and roller coasters and Disney land.
I celebrate Lisa’s intelligence that we saw in so many ways. Intelligence as she managed this illness and seemed to know so much about every possibility. She had awareness and intelligence about her body. Often before the doctors told her - she knew. And more than that Wisdom about life and love and God
I celebrate a family who shows all of us what a family can be
I celebrate the relationship between Fred and Lisa. Lisa who “was humbled” that her dad retired and was able to be so much of a companion with her these last 40 months.
Fred who over and over again has expressed appreciation for what Lisa has taught him in their walks and her “carriage rides”
I celebrate Trixie and Lisa and the way that Trixie was able to completely and selflessly give to her daughter and drive her to appointments, keep track of medications, buy and prepare the foods that were needed as the diet changed and
I celebrate her relationship with Dennis, her husband to whom she said - Last Monday - “I love you with all my heart and spirit. You are my true helpmate in my journey. I would not have made it this far without you.” I celebrate their faith - reading the Bible and devotionals; listening to music and praying together.
I celebrate the message of the swans - Karl Road Christian Church was blessed to hear this story presented by Lisa - a story of healing and strength that she received from swans that came to the pond behind her parents home.Swans who she named Oliver and Tuz - named after her deceased grandparents- you see their pictures on your bulletin
The swans’ presence in her life were a Divine connection had a profound impact on her healing and belief system. When she told her story about them she talked about how much she loved her life - “ this wonder-filled planet, enjoying the riches of being a "spiritual being having a human experience." Today she wants us to celebrate that she loved her life! It was a gift!
We celebrate that!
I want to end by telling the Native American folklore story about the Swan and the Dragonfly. I learned this from Lisa.
The swan with great curiosity, asks Dragonfly about a black hole.
"Dragonfly said, 'Swan, that is the doorway to other planes of imagination. I have been the guardian for many, many moons. If you want to enter there, you would have to ask permission and earn the right.' "
Swan shows willingness to delve into the black hole.
.... Dragonfly says, "You must be willing to accept whatever the future holds without trying to change Great Spirit's plan."
Swan says, "I will be happy to abide by Great Spirit's plan. I won't fight the currents of the black hole. I will surrender to the flow of the spiral and trust what I am shown."
Swan goes through a major transformation, from an ugly duckling like phase to that of a glorious swan. Dragonfly questions what happened to Swan.
Swan replies, "Dragonfly, I learned to surrender my body to the power of Great Spirit and was taken to where the future lives. I saw many wonders high on Sacred Mountain and because of my faith and my acceptance I have been changed. I have learned to accept the state of grace."
Swan symbolizes the ability to see the future, surrender to the power of Great Spirit and accept the healing and transformation of her life. And YOU KNOW LISA was the SWAN
I celebrate Lisa who showed us how you surrender to the power of Great Spirit and embody the loving and healing power of God.
She was a light to me, to Karl Road Christian Church and our healing team, to the doctors and the nurses who attended her, to her friends, to Freddie, to Fred, to Trixie to Dennis.
I celebrate Lisa and I celebrate her faith and our faith that enables us to say goodbye knowing that she is in a place of peace and joy and celebration
That she is with our Lord and that we will see her in God’s time.
And I can only imagine the celebration that happened up there on January 2 at 2 AM.
Note: following this we listened to "I can only imagine" with Nicole Bunch signing to it.
Again, my life was blessed to pastor this beautiful young woman. I miss her.