We buried my mother’s ashes in a small memorial service this past Friday….finally reunited with my father again after 38 years. It turned out to be a perfect day for our little gathering at the cemetery. The mid-morning heat was tempered by the shelter of passing clouds just long enough to breeze through our little service….nothing fancy, just something for mom.
We arrived a little early to set up what little we needed to. My sister-in-law, Mary, had gotten some beautiful flowers to put on my mother’s headstone, and she had a framed picture of my mom at 21 years old…the day she got married. She placed it next to the flowers. On the other side was a picture of my mom and dad....one of my favorites. Behind that was the basket-like container that held the box with my mother’s ashes. We had been adding “things” to this container to be buried along with her ashes. I included some pictures of her grandchildren and great grandchidren, a picture of her mother and father, a picture of four generations…from my mother to my granddaughter, and assorted other pictures. I also included a couple of pieces that I wrote, (one piece that I read that morning) and a piece that my daughter, Jory, wrote...which I also read at the service. There was a large gold cross inside that my mother use to have in her home, and I enclosed a glass angel. I’m not sure if Mary had enclosed what my brother, Ken had written for the service or not, but I was hoping she did.
As 11:00 approached, several of my cousins that I hadn’t seen in a good many years came to pay their respects to my mother. When you haven’t seen relatives for a VERY long time….even ones you’ve always been VERY fond of, you don’t know what to expect. You don’t know if there’s going to be awkward moments….and especially coming together for something like this. I don’t know what I was thinking!! It just took one look, one hug, and we were back all those years ago just as if they had never gone by. We hugged and stared at each other so much, we almost forgot to sit down and start the service.
The gentleman from the cemetery started things by reading a very lovely poem….very appropriate. Next my brother got up and started to read his piece, but just couldn’t make it past the first few words. He had kind of anticipated this, and called on his son, Shane, to read the rest. Ken wrote a wonderful piece on my mother, and captured the essence of what she was like as a person. Shane did a great job filling in for him. Many laughs…and many tears later….it was my turn.
I honestly didn’t know if I could compose myself enough to be able to read anything; but by God, I was going to give it a shot. I wasn’t going to get another chance at it….this was it for my mother. I started to read, and as I looked up into the faces of those people that I love with tears on their cheeks or smiles on their faces, I felt more and more at ease. I made it through just fine. And, while I was on a roll….I read Jory’s piece too. We finished with my niece, Heather, reading what she wrote for her Grandma.