right at this moment i am sitting in the back of my sister and her husband’s corolla, on highway 41, thinking back on the past few days events.
one thing that stands out is how proud i am of my mother.
she did an amazing job putting a beautiful service together for my grandmother. she gave a heartfelt testimony about grandmom’s life, and she was clearly emotional — she even broke up several times — but she got through it and she never got to the point where you were embarrassed for her or couldn’t understand what she was saying.
it was the perfect balance between holding it together and letting it out, and it was awesome.
she read the story of how granddad and grandmom met — transcribed from a recording of granddad telling the story himself.
she has, for the past few years, been asking him questions and having him answer them on tape, and she’s transcribing them. apparently she’s got one hundred pages so far.
in any case, they first met because at a funeral, and the story was a real tear jerker, because it was just so plainly obvious how strong the love between les and neva has been since the very first time they spoke.
all their lives, it seems, one would have to have been a fool to miss the passion between them, and i can attest to that. they were deeply, madly, in love.
my brother also spoke of grandmom.
he talked of her amazing ability to create breakfast. he talked of how when we would go camping with them, how us kids would eat at mom and dad’s trailer, and then go over to grandmom and granddad’s camper, too.
i really believe no one has ever made bacon quite as good as she could.
yesterday was the first time i had touched a dead body.
cold. dead. flesh.
it looked like grandmom, but it was not grandmom.
i have written before on dallas willard’s concept, “if you wish to find me, the last thing you should do is cut me open and look”, and i thought of that while holding her hand.
the people who prepare bodies for viewings do an amazing job of making them appear life-like (at a glance) by pumping them full of fluid and propping their insides up with stuffing and using makeup, but life-like appearance is far, far, from being alive.
i was a pallbearer
the casket was so much lighter than i expected, though it was far from light.
it was strange, as we carried the thing from the coach to the “lowering device” at the gravesite that i was carrying my dead grandmother’s body here.
it was surreal.
two weekends ago, i visited her in the hospital, and she was barely alive. yesterday, i was looking at her dead body in an expensive maroon box, and she looked more alive than i’d seen her in years, and now here i was carting her off to be put in the ground.
the gravesite service was odd, and short.
we put the box on the lift, we sat down, pastor prayed, we left.
then we ate lunch.
apparently, in this section of the country, after you put a loved one’s leftovers in the ground, you go make your own.
i could hardly eat, and i don’t think it was just because there was some pineapple based casserole there.