This first post of our web site is dedicated to our friend, Eileen Neufeld, who unexpectedly passed away on March 26th, after having a masive stroke at work.
Full of life and energy, and only 56 years old, there was no indication that Eileen’s life with us would end so abruptly. The night before her stroke, a group of us were together to celebrate the new release of Donna’s and my book, A Mentor’s Fingerprint. Eileen was her usual witty self – cracking jokes, laughing, affirming us and our book, and taking pictures. She was one of our greatest supporters as we wrote the book and launched Fingerprint Ministries.
At the party, Eileen announced that she was going home to read the book and, if she had to, she would stay up all night to finish it. She was so excited to finally hold a copy in her hands. That was the last time we spoke with Eileen. Her husband later told us that she did finish the book that night and her daughter found it the next day on her night table.
Eileen, Donna, and I have laughed together, and prayed together. We’ve been on a mission’s trip together, worked on projects together, served on the Women’s Leadership Team at our church together, and shared with our husbands in the same small group at church.
Our friend loved photography and had an eye for beauty, which she creatively captured with her camera. She had a wonderful sense of humor, quick wit, and was the master of any kitchen she stepped into. Whether she cooked for a camp or for a banquet, or organized food for thousands (yes – I said thousands) or for a couple hundred, she did it with grace and calm. To her, hospitality was an art and a gift to be given away. For all that she did for others, Eileen was first and foremost a dedicated wife, attentive mom of four daughters, and a doting grandma to eight children.
I’m telling you this story because Eileen is a great example of someone who left her fingerprint on the lives of her family and her friends. You couldn’t be with her without hearing about her children and grandchildren, yet she always had time to send a card or get together with her friends. Yes, she had struggles and frustrations and felt defeat and anger and fear – just like the rest of us. But she believed that God in heaven walked with her all the time and that He loved her unconditionally.
She also believed that her life legacy was to serve and that how she lived and served, no matter what she was going through at the time, would somehow make a difference. She believed that God would take what she did today and make it count for eternity. She was very aware that she was leaving a fingerprint on the lives of her daughters, her sons-in-law, her grandchildren, her friends, and anyone else who crossed her path.
Eileen may have stopped being mentored when she took that curve in the road and passed into the presence of God but her mentoring legacy will live on and on…
What kind of legacy fingerprint are you leaving?