Crafting Gifts — Barbara “Barb” Ertolacci, 81

Barbara N. ErtolacciWe extend to you, who mourn Barb’s passing most, our sympathy and condolences. We are honored and grateful to be able to offer today, here inside of Barb’s former parish church, our greatest prayer: the Holy Mass. May its graces help purify Barb’s soul of any imperfection, speed her soul to heaven, console all those who mourn her here below, and strengthen us on all our own lives’ journeys to God. No brief funeral homily can present the fullness of a Christian life, but holy aspects of a Christian’s life will reflect God’s goodness, beauty, and truth.

Earlier this week, Barbie and Jeff shared stories with me about Barbara (or Me-me). They told me of her smiles and laughter, of her generosity, about the Hi Way Café, and other things. One aspect of Barb’s life that stood out to me is her crafting hobby. Barb loved to make crafts; including crosses, coasters, wall decorations for every holiday, homemade cards. After moving into Cottonwood Manor in 2019, Barb made greeting cards and signs for residents; signs for doors to welcome new residents to their rooms and other signs to help residents find their way around. My personal favorite of these: a bathroom sign with the helpful message “4U2P”. Barb just freely did these crafts. It was her pleasure to create and give things as gifts. Her industry seems to have outpaced her recipients. I’m told she leaves behind six big boxes of creations, not for destruction but to be given away.

Our God is into crafts as well. He made this universe and our souls from scratch; not out of any need or obligation, but simply from a desire to create and give gifts as a blessing. Creation is an expression of God’s love. We are his craftsmanship. And even just the delightful, wonderful things we can see (be they animals, plants, landscapes, or galaxies) are far too numerous for us to behold in all of our lifetimes combined. His good gifts surround and overwhelm us. All things came to be from the Father through the Son, and the Father has given you, and Barb, and me as a gift to his Son.

Jesus says in our Gospel, “Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me… And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day.” In the view of the foolish, the dead seem to go forth to utter destruction. But those who trust in the Lord understand the truth, that with him is plenteous redemption. God has crafted us with loving care and he does not intend to discard us. One day, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. That which is corruptible will be clothed with incorruptibility, and that which is mortal with be clothed with immortality. For “this is the will of the Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life.” Barb is God’s beloved craftsmanship, a gift to you, a gift to this world, and a gift to the Son. And this is the will of the one who sent us Jesus Christ, that he should not lose anything of what the Father gave him, but that he should raise us on the last day.

One Response to “Crafting Gifts — Barbara “Barb” Ertolacci, 81”

  1. pussywillowpress Says:

    I like it :)

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