What can you say to a good friend a dozen years younger than yourself who has learned that she has a terminal illness, an irreversible malignancy’ ‘It should be me, not you.’ And her reply was, ‘Oh no, this is for a reason, and this is going to help somebody.’ In her remaining few months, she was an inspiration to us and to all who knew her. Mereta Eckert Brown of Mercury passed away March l. The funeral service was held at Grace Lutheran Church, her home church, in Brownwood. Her nephew, the Rev. Allan Eckert, officiated. Her burial followed at Rochelle Cemetery. We extend our love and sympathy to her mother, Virginia Eckert of Mercury; her brother, Arliss, and wife, Janis Eckert, of Fort Worth; her daughter, Sandra, and husband, Jack Brown; her son, Michael, and wife, Elaine Brown; her five grandchildren; and a great-grandchild. Mereta grew up in Mercury on Eckert acres, attended Rochelle School and graduated in 1959. In her last years, she lived with her parents, helping them out on the ranch. When her father, Elmer Eckert, passed away, she continued living with her mother. She enjoyed living on the ranch, feeding cattle and doing whatever needed to be done. She especially enjoyed her children and grandchildren. Even though they all lived in Austin, some or all were at the ranch on most weekends, and when she became ill, they were with her even more frequently. Her children took her to Austin for her last few weeks and were near her all the time. In her family’s tribute to her which was included in the memorial program handed out at the funeral service, they stated that she loved the Mercury community and the Mercury Ladies Club. I served refreshments with her the last few years at the club, and when it was our turn, she always fixed the table covering and the flowers. She brought twice as much food as we had talked about, including at least one or two new recipes. She enjoyed life, her community, her family and her home. Now, she is truly at home. The following poem was included in the program handed out at her funeral service. * * * I’m Free Don’t grieve for me now, I’m free. I’m following the path that God laid for me. I took his hand when I heard him call. (I turned my back and left it all.) I could not stay another day. To laugh, to live, to work or play. Tasks left undone must stay that way. I’ve found my peace at the close of day. If parting has left a void, Then fill it with remembered joy. A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss. Ah yes, these things I too will miss. Be not burdened with time of sorrow. I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow. My life’s been full, I’ve savored much. Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch. Perhaps my time seemed all too brief. Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief. Lift up your heart and share with me. God wanted me now; he set me free.