Dearest Bertha, We are here this afternoon because we are in shock. We each carry with us a heavy feeling of loss, grief and disbelief that you have so quickly left us. Even now as we gather to contemplate this tremendously sad event your presence is overwhelmingly with us. Forgive us the indulgence of hanging on to each other in trying to understand the reasons God has for taking you away from us. Even now we can see your sparkling eyes and your deep throaty laughter as you walked among us at Lowell. Our own brief time on earth is startingly real to us today, and awakens in us an urgency to understand and create our own legacies, even as we see yours unfolding now among us. Bertha, you have left a beautiful family, a family that has grown from your joy and your giving and your love of each one. You were always so accepting of each child, flawed and otherwise. No child was ever too
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