The Last Detail is the most recent work of Lisa J. Lickel and while billed more as women’s fiction, it has a nice romantic thread to it.
Merit is a medical missionary who is injured on the field and sent home to recover. The only problem is, the mission board refuses his request to return to the field. Cast adrift and trying to figure out what to do with his life, he moves into a large empty home that is an inheritance left to him and his sister. While struggling with his value and direction, he is intrigued with Amalia who has taken on the task of managing final details of the estate that the house is a part of.
Amalia runs a business called The Last Detail, (hence the name of the book), that helps people with other end of life planning beyond the funeral. She is stuck in a relationship with the funeral director, Hudson, who assumes they will marry. Can Amalia break out of her rut and embrace a larger life than the one that had been prescribed for her by her parents and business associate? Perhaps one that takes her beyond the borders of her city?
Both characters have to struggle with their relationship with God and with each other as obstacles continually emerge to confuse and complicate their lives.
I don’t want to give any spoilers away! Just read the book and enjoy the story as it unfolds. This is a well-crafted story that has hung with me for days after reading it.
Sometimes it is funny how God works to bring a topic for this blog to mind. We had my mother-in-law’s funeral a few weeks ago and it was interesting the things people said about her – especially the pastor. Really? Was that the woman I knew for 25 years? Hmmm.
I have had several women I know, who recently buried their moms. Another one her grandmother. We lost a police officer in the line of duty in our town a week past. Thousands of people died in a tsunami and many more are dying in the Middle East. People get cancer or other devestating health diagnosis on a daily basis. Death is a part of living in this sinful world.
Yesterday in my journal I was trying to ponder this question: “What would you like said at your funeral about you and your life?” How do I want to be remembered and am I living up to my own ideal? It made me think about what I need to tell others whom I love and who have impacted my life. What in their character helped inspire me? What are the kind of things I might say of them at their funeral? Why wait till they are dead to tell them how I feel? I even started making a list of people to write to. Sometimes even the people I talk to the most I may not be expressing to them how I see them and how much they mean to me. Just a thought of an area where I hope to maybe expend some effort.
Make yourself an encouragement file if you haven’t one already – and when you get notes that speak to your heart or affirm you and encourage you – put them in there. Some day you may need those words again to remind yourself that you are important in the lives of those around you.
In my daughter’s Sunday classes at church, she is encouraged to be a “bucket filler” to find ways to encourage others by word or deed. Maybe we need to be “casket fillers.” Does that sound morbid? But what a better way to impact the lives of those around us than to know that when they die, they will have had a bucket/file/casket filled of love and affirmation? Just a thought.
This morning I came across this blog post by Leslie Vernick on “What would you like said about you at your funeral.” I think she did a better job than I could have. Please click the link and check her out.
What would YOU like said about you at your funeral?