Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Breakthrough

I went to my Mamaw's funeral today feeling very mixed up, sad, confused and full of doubt. I picked up on the littlest things. Such as my brother being later than expected and my mom mumbling if he didn't hurry up she was gonna kill him. Um, mom... the irony cracked a smile on my face. He did make it time, slyly showing us the duct tape holding his shirt together where he was missing buttons on his good black dress shirt.

I looked at the sea of faces, seeing my cousins that I have not seen in 25 years all grown up into men and women with children of their own. I have never met my cousin, Rebecca's daughter. Wow! That little girl is her mom all over again! What a pretty little girl. I didn't recognize half of the people there. I was probably related to most of them, but since I haven't seen most of them since I was a child, I was mostly looking at their children to see who they looked like. Most people just stared at me. After a while, I figured out why. My mamaw's aunt Vonnie approached me and said "I know you're Ann's, (my mom), but I don't know which one you are!" It's then I realized I was no longer a child either and nobody recognized me! Weird moment.

Then "it" happened. The moment I was not expecting. The room filled with hushed whispers. "Dad's here, Here comes Nelson". My papaw had arrived. Slowly, with his cane, my papaw, dressed in his best jeans and plaid button down shirt, walked to the front of the room. As I watched, he leaned into the casket and gave my mamaw a kiss. It was the most tender moment I had ever witnessed in my entire life and my emotional wall crumbled before me. My eyes filled with tears and the grieving began.

During the service, I learned that my grandparents had been married for 59 years. 59!!! What a testament to love and perseverance. I never saw a bad word between them. They were each other's best friend. I want my marriage to be like theirs. Two best friends going through life together, loving each other and enjoying each other's company every moment of every day.

The service itself was a bit of a joke to me. My mamaw was not overtly religious and for a minister who never met her talk about the state of her soul for 30 minutes was a waste of hot air for me. I would have much rather heard about her life and not her death. I made it through, but thoroughly expected my mamaw to sit up and tell him he was full of horse....!

Rob came with me to the graveside service. She was laid to rest in the KY Veteran's Cemetery. It is such a beautiful place. Afterwords, we went back to my grandparent' house. It was good to be with family.

1 comment:

Marissa said...

It sounds like it was a good thing that you went to pay your respects. The story of your papaw leaning in and kissing your mamaw brought me to tears. Reminded me of when my grandma passed away. My grandpa was a man of few words and even fewer outward emotions. Very sweet man though. He stood up at grandma's service and tried to speak some kind words about her but kept choking up. They had been married 63 years and were so devoted to each other, just like your mamaw and papaw. I had never seen him cry before.

I am glad you had a breakthrough.

Have a Happy Mother's Day. I will be thinking of you.

Alicia

Diagram of Tommy's Heart Defects

Diagram of Tommy's Heart Defects
Double Inlet Left Ventricle with Transpostion of the Great Arteries