Today’s Thanksgiving column, which first ran in 2021, has excerpts from my 2021 eulogy for Mrs. Elf and is in gratitude for our marriage:
I i i
One time when you, My HilaryLove, came to visit us, you shared a strategy for the draw of five cards.
Including this: when you have nothing in hand, keep your highest card and draw four.
So for one hand, I drew four.
You drew a card and had a straight.
I had four kings.
In utter amazement, you said: “But you drew four cards.”
Yeah, you dealt me a king and I got three.
I i i
In the way that brings everyone here today, we, and particularly you, Ms. Elf, don’t draw cards like that.
But in many other ways, we did.
Standing at this altar on our wedding day we listened to the blessing that “delight one another and grow in holy love until the end of (our) life.” …
In many ways, you, Ms. Elf, have shown me how lucky I am.
This was never more obvious than when your cancer returned just before our wedding and you offered to back off and help me find someone else because, in your words, “I love you too much to put you through this.”
As I have often said to you or others, that is the most loving thing anyone will ever say to me.
You were characteristically thinking of someone else, not yourself.
You did the same after our wedding when the current pandemic hit. You told me that during most of that time I would stay at home and not bring you the corona virus. Why? Because you didn’t want me to have to live with the knowledge that I had given you what killed you.
As we’ve both often said, we’re blessed with a bond that we’re convinced some couples never have.
I i i
At the beginning of 2021, you told me that you wanted me to tell part of the story of how we met today.
Well, the obituary was done entirely in his own way, and today’s service and its participants are entirely under his direction. He has similar specific instructions, some of them in the obituary, for his memorial Mass, his burial service, his participants, and his entombment.
So here’s the part of the story: those who introduced us asked what each of us couldn’t live without. I named a radio program nationwide. That was true in this sense: what you were trying to do with that answer was to avoid a fundamental incompatibility. Well, for you the answer was completely supported.
I i i
Years later, to celebrate all we shared, we host a wedding and reception that guests and others continue to marvel at.
The video of the procession shows the joy on your face and the confidence in mine.
This marriage and this union are so right.
This bond between us, this joy, and this trust have enabled the two of us to transcend all the challenges we have faced, including the one that ended his earthly life decades before his time. …
I i i
Our joy and our confidence are shared by many. For that, we are more than grateful.
Today, all of us here honor you and celebrate an earthly life extraordinarily well lived, even in overcoming challenges. …
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As we celebrate your entrance into Church Triumphant… all of us here today are reminded of Isaiah’s words from both our wedding and service today.
For an earthly life extraordinarily well lived, extraordinarily well lived, you, My Love, “They will go out with joy and be led in peace; the mountains and the hills before you will burst into praise, and all the trees of the field (- all the trees of the field -) will clap their hands.”
For you, Mrs. Elf. For you.
I i i
When I proposed to you as the sun was setting on a beach in Carlsbad, California, I talked about being with you for this life and for eternity.
Although eternity has come decades too soon for you, all of us here today thank Almighty God for your earthly life, and I assure you that I will always love you, Hilary.
I will always love you.
Hilary Elf passed from earthly life to eternal life on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 11, 2021, the third anniversary of her engagement to Randy Elf (#KurtzElfWedding). The full 2021 eulogy, delivered in Jamestown, is at https://works.bepress.com/elf/100 (video) and https://works.bepress.com/elf/101 (text).
2022 BY RANDY ELF