That said, I attended the funeral of a "lady" this afternoon, Shirley B. Goin.
I don't have a specific definition, but to note I've known very few "ladies" in my life, and she was one of them. As was my mother, and some aunts, and as is my daughter and her mother, and a few other women I've known.
I know they're bound to be out there in profusion, women who rise above being women, or housewives or professionals, and most of them never get recognition beyond their families, or certainly in the news.
What makes a "lady"? You define the word as you wish, but for me certain qualities come to mind.
- They're genuine.
- They love people and life, especially children.
- They have a certain grace that transcends problems and politics and pettiness.
- They work hard, at any task.
- They subordinate their egos to the people they love.
- They are strong in character, and beliefs.
- They have high standards of behavior and expectations.
- They smile, and forgive, and are never mean.
- They are loved and respected by everyone they know.
- They are our culture's and civilization's real leaders.
- They embody what Christianity is supposed to be about.
So here's to Shirley B. Goin, 1934-2014, who I knew in Waurika years ago, whose husband Don was probably the most spiritual elder I've ever known, who reared a wonderful family, whose children I got to know, who taught some of my children in Bible class, whose brother is a loyal friend no matter the years and sins.
Services were at Memorial Road Church of Christ, and I cried. I think I cried most at the wonderful sound of a cappella singing, and at the photos of Shirley and her family, and of the memories, of a gracious lady.