EDITOR NOTE: On October 8th, after 50 years and 42 days of marriage, Judith C. Borst went to her heavenly home. Judy was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She loved—and was loved by—her family, friends, and community. She also treasured her Catholic faith. At her Mass of Christian Burial, her husband, William, remembered “His Judy.”
When I started doing talk radio in the mid-eighties, Judy told me: Don’t YOU ever mention that you even have a wife!!!!
I kept that pledge all these years…until today. If I should be struck with a lightning bolt on a clear day in the near future, you will know who sent it!
Ecclesiastes tell us there is a time for everything. I assume grief is part of that. I never really grieved for anyone until I accidentally found out about the death of Peter Lawrence, my three-year roommate at Holy Cross. I still feel some pangs of remorse 12 years later.
I can only imagine what I will feel with the loss of Judy, my wife of a half-century, plus 42 days.
But my grief is for later…and in the privacy of my thoughts.
No, we are here today, not to grieve, but to celebrate my Judy…our Judy…
It is also a truism that teachers never realize how much good or influence they have had on the teaching of their young, impressionable minds of mush.
Though she was a trained nurse, Judy fits the category because she spread so much joy in her life, there is no way she could ever have known how much people were drawn to her infectious cheerfulness.
I have witnessed and been overwhelmed by the reaction to her death.
One vivid example will suffice. We tried to alert all the many people who were captured by her spirit. There is a young Barista at the –Buck’s where we used to hang out around at 3PM most days. Judy was especially fond of her.
Two of my kids and I stopped there the other night…and I plainly told her…I lost my Judy at 8:12 Saturday morning. This woman reacted as if I had thrown acid in her face.
She grabbed her face with both hands and her torso bent parallel with the counter.
I never thought anyone would have such a reaction. She was the only visible server. I thought for a moment that I had shut down the place.
Monsignor Gardin told me he always ended his sermons with a practical application of the Gospels.
Here is what you can do for Judy and me.
I want you all to leave this magnificent church where we have attended for 43 years with bright smiles on your faces.
Then I want you to practice smiling at people you meet on the street, at the grocery store, Saks, or wherever your travels may take you. You don’t even have to know them.
And if you are bold, you can tell them Judy sent me! Pass it on.
But if you can’t summon the courage…whisper it to yourselves. This will be a way to keep her memory alive in your hearts and you might be surprised at the pure joy and love as St. Theresa of Kolkatta wrote of that you could spread.
You know like that commercial where people observe a kind deed and decide to perform their own act of kindness, starting a chain reaction of good deeds.
A smile can be many things, but in instances like this, it can have divine overtures. I look at a smile, like Judy’s as a vehicle of grace.
I have watched Judy do this for many years. At Lester’s where I eat frequently, I had been bringing her lately because of her broken back.
It did not take too long for her to work her innate charm. Today I met a new server, a young woman with a very friendly demeanor. I stopped her and told her how my late wife would have really liked her and she beamed.
I also collared Charlie, in whom Judy had recognized some nice quality in just two meetings. I told him how much she had liked him. He smiled and walked away.
I also spied a table with one father and a gaggle of little girls. I went over and told him how if my wife were here, she would have complimented him on how beautiful his family of little girls was. That was my Judy.
Forget Mike…be like Judy.
They say Lincoln belonged to the ages! Our Judy belongs to God!
Thank you so much for honoring my wife, and her family with your presence. God bless!