Children when you come to my silent grave to see where your lifeless mother was laid,
remember how I loved you and how I worked and labored and patiently waited on you.
But remember this grave can’t always hold this lifeless body of your mother, but when Christ, who is my life shall appear, that this lifeless mother, the body of mine, shall appear with Him in glory.
Children, my labor of works and patience of love, I leave with you.
Be at peace among yourselves.
Behold the love of Jesus.
This is the grave marker of Dora L. Keith, born October 5, 1871, and died February 16, 1917. She is buried in the Round Grove Cemetery, Dublin, Texas.
Dora Keith was my great-great-grandmother. She died when my great-grandmother, Nellie Hazzard, the youngest of her eight children, was six years old.
Dora Keith knew she was dying. She wrote this letter while living, addressing her children. Her convictions fortified her in the face of death. Her hope was in Christ. Her final exhortation, “Behold the love of Jesus,” are words of deep wisdom. To know of and about Jesus is one thing, and a good thing, at that, but to behold him and his love has the power to transform us.
This memorial now stands as a testimony to me, her great-great-grandson over a century later. It also stands as a testimony to you. Above, we read an allusion to Colossians 3:4, which in the King James Version says, “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” She clung to hope in the resurrection. I do, too.