They’re on my mind tonight – the elders who are gone.  My mother in law, my aunt and uncle, even my grandparents who have been gone such a long time.

Probably because tomorrow is my aunt’s birthday.  Last year my mother planned a little celebration for her, in honor of her 85th birthday.  We had done a similar party on her 80th, but it was a surprise.   There were fewer guests this time around…seems like that’s how it goes when you’re that age.  Every holiday has one less place at the table.

And also because I signed the papers to close her estate today.  All my fiduciary duties are now complete, my last oppportunity to care for her, to do anything to help her – done.

In a strange twist of fate, tomorrow will find me at the cemetary where she’s buried attending another funeral.  Our friend’s mother passed away on Saturday, and her funeral will be held there tomorrow morning.  Her family had moved her to Cleveland several years ago, to facilitate being able to care for her.  But her roots are in Michigan, and so this is where she comes to rest.

There seems to be a steady stream of passages lately, and it’s hard not to be depressed by it.  It makes me feel older than my years, I think, makes me worry over every little ache and pain, makes me stare squinty eyed at the people still left to me, looking for signs that they’re moving toward that endless light  so maybe I can grab their arm and pull them back into the present with me for a while longer.  

Honestly, on some days, I’m not sure there’s anything here worth pulling them back for.

But then Saturday afternoon there was a gathering to celebrate  baby Lenna Rose, the newest member of my extended family…a second-cousin-once removed (I think).  

And Saturday night there was a concert, a glorious celebration of the career of one man who has lived and breathed music for the past 40 years, a coming together of singers from all walks of life in proof of the ways music creates lifelong relationships.  Tomorrow, although the occasion will be sad, it will bring together three men who have been friends for over 40 years.  They rarely see each other, but continue to hold each other in high regard, continue to show up in remembrance of  important life passages.

So I try to remember these things when I’m inundated with bad news about oil spills, and stalled economic recoveries, and stock market losses.  Small good things, small pieces of evidence that there are miracles still to be found in my life and in yours.

Remembering is good.


7 thoughts on “Remembrance

  1. It isn’t always easy to be lighthearted, is it? There are so many reasons for concern recently. I have to remind myself how very lucky we are, and I know we are. Loss may be the most difficult part of life and you’ve had a lot of it this year. Wishing you well, Becca.

  2. Aunt Lissie and Uncle Tex were quite a pair. But, whatever their failings, they deserve to be remembered. As long as we speak their names, visit their graves, and fondly remember their “quirkiness” they will never be forgotten. They were really good people and I never want to forget that. By writing about them, you help me remember
    the real essence of who they were. Thanks.

  3. Oh, Becca, what a thoughtful post. I remember well your writing about your aunt — she sounded so very special and what a loss it is. You’ve had rather a bunch of it and to have another so close to the anniversary must be hard indeed. I try so hard to remember those I loved who are no longer here — their accomplishments, their gifts, and share them because really, how else will anyone ever know? But it is still loss.

    I have to say, you have nailed it, though. Sometimes, I wonder — what ARE they missing? Not much. Except they are missing a glorious day, when the sun is out and it’s warm (but not too warm) and the birds are singing and the flowers never looked lovelier. They’re missing that baby’s christening and what she’ll look like when she’s five or ten or 20. And if we weren’t here, so would me.

    Gotta keep holding onto that because sometimes…

  4. Remembering is good. And in writing it, sharing it with others, it connects us all, informs us all, comforts all of us in that it is universal.
    You have found strength in all your caring, no doubt, and woven your own tapestry with love and meaning. How precious family is and, too, those friends who are like family.
    Reflection is a motivator. We push on through oil spills and hunger and thirst and violence and try to make a peaceful rich way for those around us and everywhere.
    How wonderful and important that you write. Truly.

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