27 May 2015

Memorial Day (or Too Many Funerals)

In the last two years I have attended more funerals than I can ever remember attending. Which is to say not that many but more than usual. The tally is four. That's four funerals since Memorial Day 2013. (Four funerals and a wedding, actually.) I keep thinking "that's too many funerals" and then wondering what is the "right" number of funerals?

Perhaps these circumstances are unique because three of the funerals I have been to are those of people who were too young to die. (But what is "old enough?" And where did I get all these strange rules and limits? As if matters of life and death ever play "by the rules." We hold up our ideals anyway.)

This year we spent Memorial Day with Beto and Lindsey, our dear friends and, oh yes, family, too. They are freshly grieving the loss of their sweet son Beckham. Their pain is unbearable. But their spirits are indomitable. It was so good to be with them.

Next month I will get to see my friend Ricki Lea who, in the 9 years that her son battled cancer and in the 21 months since her son died, has always impressed me with her fortitude.

My aunt Jetta would have been 63 earlier this month. This year on her birthday we had not mentioned to the girls that it was Jetta's birthday. But out of no where, Clara said, "I just saw Jetta! Driving that white car!" We chose to pretend that Clara's vision was real.

In February, I attended my grandmother's funeral; the days surrounding that event were what I called a Mema Memorial Bubble. It was more sweet than it was bitter, to simply remember and relive. I think of her so often, especially now that the flowers are in bloom and her birthday nears. She would have been 94 this weekend.

Just today I caught Clara playing in the other room and singing Put Me in Your Pocket - incorrectly but sweetly. Julia chimed in with accurate lyrics and they both carried on singing.

We are all thinking of those who have gone before.

Put Me In Your Pocket (click through to hear Mema sing it)
Put me in your pocket so I'll be close to you
No more will I be lonesome and no more will I be blue
And when we have to part, dear, there'll be no sad adieus
For I'll be in your pocket and I'll go along with you.

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