Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How Do You Say Goodbye?

I notice as we age so does everyone around us.  Unfortunately, sooner or later we must start saying goodbye to people who are special in our lives.  My husband's mother passed away on March 15th after a brief illness.  Since my husband and I have been together since high school, I have known his mother for many years.  No, I'm not saying 'how long' what are you thinking??

My dad passed 18 months ago and I was in a proverbial fog during the entire time.  My mind told me to 'just deal with it and feel sorry for yourself later' and so I did.  My husband supported me as best he could, although he felt he was dealing with the loss of one of his best friends.  Now it was my turn to reciprocate.

My husband was quite strong, but we soon learned that it was now time for us to grow up and take on the adult role.  His stepfather is 80 and was not dealing well with this turn of events.  His sister has a brain injury and had her own issues dealing with the loss of the one person that has always taken care of her in every situation.  So, here we are . . . on the threshold of growing up and being responsible.

We handled the meetings for the funeral and all the steps necessary for dealing with this final farewell.  Mary had lost so much weight that the best decision on clothing was to shop for a brand new dress for her debut into the hereafter.  We found a lovely silver white dress with purples and blues artistically placed on the dress.  Since it was a sleeveless, we added a pretty hand painted silk shawl in the matching purples and blues.  Nice warm and soft socks to ensure comfort for the ride; matching nail polish; and special jewelry given to her by her daughter as a Mother's Day gift in past years and she was ready.

The entire family spent time going through old photos to find the perfect pairing of fun and style to showcase her life in a slideshow for the final farewell.  Meet with the minister to discuss music, scripture, and whittle down 84 years of a spirited life for a one hour service. 

Mary was a member of the Women's Auxiliary of the V.F.W., so we turned to those ladies for the get together after the services.  The ladies jumped in to prepare a nice spread of food; supplemented by our many friends and family, and we had a deluxe afternoon of eating and remembering the fun times with Mary.

As I looked around the crowd I noticed some of the older aunts and uncles present (one aunt is 97) and I knew it was only a matter of time until we would be meeting like this again.  Why is it so many families only come together at these sorrowful times?  Why don't we take a little time out of our busy lives to make time for the family while they are still with us to enjoy our time together? 

We left that day resolving to stop to see the aunts and uncles, if only for a cup of coffee and some fun memories, and I honestly hope we will make the time necessary to enjoy each other while we still can.

I believe we sent Mary off to her next transition with grace and style.  I know she would be proud of her family and the honor they had for her.

Now we need to continue with the healing process and keep trying to be the adults (oy, I took my mom and dad for granted all this time).  We must take time to be with family and friends more often.  And finally, we must say farewell for now to a special lady in our lives and remember the love she gave us.