Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Good Night, Irene

Good Night, Irene

I’ve been gone for a bit.  Thanks to all my blog peeps who checked in on me.  My mom died last week so I have been in Kansas laying her to rest and celebrating her life. 

She was 92 and I know she was ready to go, but it doesn’t really make it any easier.  She was my mom and had always been there in my life and now she is gone.  I say this more with amazement than anything else. 

Perhaps it really hasn’t hit me yet.

We had the visitation and the funeral in the small town in which she had grown up and had always lived near.  Most of our family was able to come back.  She had five daughters, eleven grandchildren, and sixteen grandchildren.  On her casket there were flowers representing each of us.  When we weren’t crying, we were laughing,    These events are such emotional roller coasters, aren’t they?

Her obituary listed all the ways in which she was involved and busy with her community.  People from the town came to hear my niece give a beautiful eulogy about her grandmother’s life and legacy.  After the funeral, we traveled from the church to the cemetery over about seven miles of rural highway, the gentle hills rolling as far as the eye could see.  A police car, its lights flashing led the way,  the hearse carrying my mom was right behind. I was in one of the first cars following.  About halfway to the cemetery, I looked back and saw the line of cars, their headlights on, rolling slowly up and down those hills.   It was a beautiful sight.  Opposing traffic pulled over out of respect as we passed by.

After the funeral dinner, we said goodbye to our cousins and the rest of us gathered at the hotel for more visiting, more crying, more laughing before we headed to our homes in Colorado, Oklahoma and California. 

I am sure I will write more about this once I process it all, or I may process it all by writing about it.  My long-time Betty readers know that’s usually how I do it.

One resolution comes to me now:  I want to broaden my life.  I want to live a full, deep, wide life.  This means going outside my comfort zone, saying yes to opportunities when they present themselves,  making time to do what is important.  I don’t want to be fearful about stretching, about doing new things.   I don’t want to hold back and play it safe.  I want be sure that I help others in whatever way they need to be helped.  

Death reminds us that this life is finite.  This time is precious.  This world needs hope and optimism, not more darkness. 

At the end of my life, I hope to look back over all the miles I’ve traveled and see that I have left a long, long line of light.

Good night, Mom.  Thanks for everything.  I love you.