Longing to go Home — Funeral Homily for Donetta Bowe, 90

You may or may not have known it, but Donetta wrote poetry. She wrote these words during her retirement:

“I want to go home
  Not to the house in town
  But back to the farm.”

In the following lines she went on to fondly recall the farm’s many sights and sounds, the cardinals and chickadees, the wild turkeys and pheasants, “the humming birds by the flowers,” the deer crossing through the fields, and the barn cats she left behind.

“But it’s not the same anymore,” she wrote,
“I need to find another way
  To satisfy those feelings now.”

In her later years, Donetta felt the fading of her flesh, and lamented at not being able to do all that she could do before.

“Only in my spirit,” she wrote,
“Only in my spirit
  can I run up a green grassy hill.
Only in my spirit
  can I skip along a shady park path.
Only in my spirit
  can I still run up the stairs.”

Over time, our lives accumulate losses. We painfully lose people and places and bodily powers. If this were only natural, why doesn’t it sit more naturally with us? Why do we desire the infinite? Where is the fulfillment of our insatiable longings to be found?

As Martha mourned the death of her brother Lazarus, Jesus assured her this was not her loved one’s end. She replied to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “Whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live… Do you believe this?” She answered him, “Yes, Lord,” and Martha saw his words proven true sooner that she had expected.

Therefore,” as St. Paul told the Christians of Corinth, Greece, “we are not discouraged… Although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day… This momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory… We look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is passing, but what is unseen is eternal.

Despite looking back, Donetta looked ahead, to the ultimate fulfillment of her longings through our Lord, Jesus Christ. Here are the words of a final Donetta poem, as it appears on her funeral card:

“My time has come for me to go
  and say goodbye to the ones I know.
My body is tired my mind is weak
  it’s difficult for me to speak.
And now I’m waiting by the gate
  so as I go don’t be sad
  for I am grateful for all I had.
Embrace the day and smile for me
  for I am going where I want to go.”

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