Monday, May 6, 2013

A Few Final Thoughts

On Saturday, I said goodbye to my Mom for the final time in this life.  It was probably as good as such an experience can be.  I was surprised by some of the people who came to pay their respects - some from fairly great distances.  My daughters said it should prove to me that I was well liked and respected, that those people came for me more so than for Mom.  I guess that could be true, although I'm not really sure.

Mary's pastor did the service for us.  Mom didn't really have a church, and Pastor Brad had seen her in the hospital at different times.  It was a comforting service, he's a wonderful speaker. Mary did a wonderful slide show of photos of Mom, and set it to music including two of Mom's favorite hymns.   Kristin spoke, and got a few chuckles with memories of Mom.  Then, a childhood friend of mine came forward to speak.  I was surprised that she was even there, I probably hadn't seen her for at least 30 years.  What she shared left my children, and myself, somewhat offended.  She spoke about how opinionated Mother had been and about how she didn't hesitate to voice those opinions; about how Mom believed that her way was the only right way.  Silly me - I thought you were supposed to remember the deceased kindly, fondly.  Or as Thumper would say, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all."

And then she came to the house after the funeral.  We had invited those in attendance to come to our house for food and fellowship following the service.  Although there were several grannies in attendance, she felt more qualified to offer advice on child rearing, and did so while insulting the new mom that she was addressing.  She made Krissy cry when she commented, not so kindly, on the length of her shorts.  And then, did a dissertation on how men were all stupid and lazy (while my hubby and one of my sons-in-law were cleaning up).  She stayed until everyone else had gone, ignoring my hints that perhaps it was time for her exit, too.  My girls commented yesterday that they found it hard to believe we were really ever friends.  We weren't really ever that close, and although she asked for my phone number, I realize that we have very little in common.  I do appreciate her thoughtfulness in showing up, but certainly could have done without all her opinions.  Especially after she eulogized my poor mom for all her opinions!  In Girl Scouts we sang a song, "Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold".  I guess in this case the silver is tarnished.

It was certainly an interesting afternoon.  Rod got a lawn chair down from the rafters of the deck, and a bazillion dead stink bugs fell out of it onto the floor.  Although everyone was saying "Ugh", it was sort of funny. However, in the middle of our little get-together, Rod had to drag out the sweeper. And if that wasn't enough, as Mother Robin was flying into the nest in the rafters with a fat, juicy worm, she decided to leave a small deposit on the head and shoulders of our one neighbor.  He handled it pretty well, but after the coleslaw container fell off the table and splashed onto the back of his leg, he left pretty quickly.  Not that I could blame him.  Still, sharing food and fellowship with friends and family was comforting and healing. R.I.P. Mom, you will be missed.

 Have a good week.


Nancy said...

I have no words about that rude "friend". On the other hand we have a saying in our family. When something goes "wrong" we say "oh, you must have been telling a great story about (insert deceased name here) she's laughingso hardshe made the bird poop. ". Or the coleslaw fall off the table. Or dead bugs to appear. That makes us laugh even more.
And yes, your daughter is correct. People attend services for the living. You are loved.

Pat said...

I agree with what Nancy said in her comment. That was what came to my mind when you spoke of the stink bugs and the robin poop and the coleslaw falling....that your mom was laughing and playing jokes! As for the rude "friend", I'd not be too quick to get together with her. She doesn't seem like much of a friend to me. :( And if it continues to bother you, I'd even consider writing her a heartfelt note to point out how offensive her behavior was to you AND your children as well as the young mother she insulted AND your Krissy about her shorts. Then...she will either realize it and try to mend her ways OR she will become defensive and you'll not see her again. (And it would seem like that wouldn't be such a bad thing..not to see her again!)

Lindabee said...

I hadn't thought about Mom playing those jokes. Mary commented in her eulogy that we didn't realize Mom had a funny side until Daddy died. Thank you both.

Nani said...

What a shock that "friend" was. If she made the point to come back after all that time to be so hurtful, pray for her. She has some pain within her that hurts worse than anyone's loss, at least she believes that. You can ask her if she needs someone to talk to, if there was a reason she was so hurtful, but the one positive thing you can do without confronting her is pray for her.

I agree that your mom must have been lightening up the mood with the little things that people took well, with a smile. I'm sending continued thoughts and prayers for comfort, healing and wonderful memories to hold in your hearts.