Yesterday, a sweet woman that I have known for many years passed away.
She lived up the street from me. I walked up to her house as the ambulance was pulling away, trying to stay out of the way, but desperately wanting to know if everything was alright.
Bertha was taken by ambulance to the local hospital where she was pronounced dead. She was 62 years old and it just happened to be her wedding anniversary.
This was the kind of quiet person who makes the world sparkle a bit just by being on it. Bertha taught primary for about a gazillion and eight years and she was incredible. She ADORED her primary children and regularly sent home laminated puppets or activities that would reinforce what they had learned.
When she stopped teaching primary she brought several large boxes of these adorable handouts to me. I was thrilled and went to work creating family home evening kits centered around the handouts. I ended up with more than 80 different lessons and was able to take kits to nearly a dozen other families as well because Bertha had so many copies of things. Because of Bertha, dozens of families were able to bring the gospel into a more central place in their homes. Her devotion blessed the lives of countless people through generations.
But it wasn't just that. Bertha was just a loving person. Any time I ran into her at the store or on a walk she stopped to talk about her latest photography project, quilting idea or scrap booking page. She made hundreds of beautiful items for friends and neighbors over the years. Her face wasn't big enough to contain her smile as she bragged about the lives of her children and grandchildren, and that is just the way it should be.
Bertha is the kind of person who let the love of God shine through her. She wasn't famous. She didn't win many prestigious awards. But she was a beautiful lady and she will be missed.