Sunday, June 20, 2010

Blast from the past

Yesterday's Memorial Service went really well. From start to finish it was just the way my mom would have wanted it. It was casual. It was not dreary. There was no piped in funeral music playing. There we only 2 flower arrangements (We asked that donations be made to Smile Train rather than sending flowers. My mom was always a *wee bit* critical of ugly flower arrangements.) We opened up the curtains in the room to make it more cheery. The kids ran around and laughed and were the hit of the day. It definitely felt more like a gathering than a funeral. She would have liked that.

It was a bit stressful, however. Other than the obvious, there was also the racking my brain trying to come up with names and faces. Some of them that I hadn't seen in 20+ years. But my dad was even worse, so I knew I had to be the front person.

I was amazed at the kinds of people who came. A little known fact on this here blog; I swam for 12 years. Rather competitively for a majority of that time. People ask me from time to time if I hope my kids swim. To which I reply, "Hope not." Mostly because of the hours and hours you spend poolside as a parent, right Karen? But the bonds of friendship built don't only happen in the water. They happen among the parents as well. And I was astonished at how many of my mom's good friends from those years came to pay respects. They were the ones who choked me up the most.

Then there were friends of mine who made the trek. Friends from Dayton, friends from Michigan. College roommate. My old babysitter. And a girl who was my best buddy 4th-6th grade; whom I literally have not seen since 6th grade. When she introduced herself I know my jaw dropped to the ground. Really unbelievable.

You want to know the worst part? When it was all said and done and I was sitting back at my dad's house reflecting, I couldn't tell my mom all about who I saw today. We couldn't laugh about the stories people told. We couldn't say a million times how good it was to see so and so. How we need to get back in touch with them. What a shame it was to lose touch in the first place. How OLD some of them looked. How great others did. I'm crying as I type. NO ONE (not even my dad, 'cuz let's face it, dad's just don't remember this stuff) knows the significance of Jennifer Wolters (4th grade buddy) coming today. There's also no one else to rehash the Jennifer Wawa *what I used to call her* memories with. I'm not sure anyone else on the planet knew those. That, my friends, is sadder than words can express.

Steve did the service. I spoke. My aunt spoke. We listened to 2 hymns. Then we ate. And laughed. And told stories.

All in all, a fine day.

But the fact that I'm up, typing this at 5am, is an indication that I'm still not "right". 5am is actually a treat. I've been up since 3:30 but couldn't quite get productive until now. Somebody tell me this will get easier. And that I'll one day sleep again.

7 comments:

jenny said...

Elizabeth....I have been praying for you the last few weeks, and especially over this difficult weekend. I am glad the memorial service went as well as can be expected and that you were blessed by some special family and friends....it sounds like your mom was a very special person to a lot of people. But, your feelings about not being able to share that with your mom, broke my heart....there are just certain things that only a mom really, truly cares about. And my heart is heavy for you that you are walking through this. I would love to grab coffee sometime, and if you ever just want to share something "ordinary" I know you have lots of people around you, myself one of them, who would love to listen. :) Hang in there, friend...

jenny said...

that was jenny c. ....I know there's a lot of jenny's out there. :) forgot to put it at the end of my comment

jenny from mommin' it up said...

so glad so many people showed up to let you know how special your mom was to them! I know you're going to miss her every day, I know it's weird that life just keeps on moving forward without her. But you will sleep again...she'd want you to go out like a light and sleep like a rock! Like a log? Whatever the expression.
Love you.

betseykerr said...

Wish I could have been there. Thinking lots about you and your family in the last few weeks. The 'spirit' of her service sounded inviting, exactly what your mom would have wanted. A lovely tribute to her.

KTC said...

Glad those swimming hours paid off somehow!! (ha!)

Really, this is just about the hardest thing in life.... you're doing great! And thanks for processing it a little bit here so we can walk though it with you. I love you friend! Let's chat soon!!

cindy q said...

Thanks for sharing about the day. You're a great daughter, wife, mom and friend.

Savvy Little Women - Kate said...

Just wanted to say I've been thinking of ya lately - hope you are doing well. Hang in there, lady...