Speaking at Rep. John Lewis’ Atlanta funeral, niece Sheila Lewis O’Brien described the man she knew as “uncle Robert.”
Behind the courageous man known to the world, she said, was a man that enjoyed family time and “sharing laughter and love.”
“While we knew how important he and his work was to the world, when we were with him, we saw uncle Robert,” O’Brien said “We saw the man that enjoyed spending time with his family, ribbing us about days gone by, catching up on family dynamics, enjoying a good meal, sharing laughter and love.”
“He made time for everyone and was always picture ready. He did not miss an opportunity for a photo op or to just take a few moments to talk to his constituents, or to those that revered him. His love was contagious. And it could be felt each time you were in his presence,” O’Brien described.
O’Brien called on attendees and the country to take on Lewis’ baton “that he has now laid down” and to endeavor to get into “good trouble.”
“He truly made an impact, not just on America, but on the world. So today, we celebrate the life of Congressman John Lewis, our uncle Robert, the man who labored, the man who talked, the man who walked, fought, knelt, sat, held hands with both Blacks and Whites, bled, lifted his voice, bent his knees, and was willing to give up his life for a righteous cause,” she said.
“Let’s continue this celebration of life, by taking up the baton that he has now laid down, and endeavor to get into trouble. Good trouble. Necessary trouble. Let’s not give up. Let’s not give in. Let’s never give out,” O’Brien added.