Monthly Archives: September 2021

Remembrances?

Right now the internet is abuzz with personal remembrances of 9/11 twenty years ago.

I’m usually not one who goes with the crowds on any holidays (so-called). Maybe it’s due to my natural tendency to avoid what the majority is doing. Why add my voice to similar voices when it’ll only get lost in the multitude?

After all, my experience that day isn’t much different from most everyone else’s. The shock, the disbelief, the heart-stopping realization that our world isn’t safe and that we had enemies willing to kill themselves in order to kill us.

Yet we also tend to forget when life returns to normal—or at least adapting to incremental changes in our day-to-day lives so adeptly we still call it “normal.”

For instance, twenty years ago, we didn’t have to arrive at the airport a minimum of two hours before the flight for the privilege of figuratively (and sometimes literally) stripping down before stepping foot on a plane. Now it’s simply a part of our “normal.”

We stepped (and often willingly) into a world where everyone is assumed to want to harm others, and we must prove through metal detectors, x-ray machines, and secret courts that we have no such intention.

We’ve decided to distrust others until they prove themselves otherwise. The whole issue with the thing-that-shall-not-be named going on today has taken that distrust even further.

What other freedoms and liberties have we lost or willingly relinquished in the last twenty years and have convinced ourselves we no longer want or need? And how many others will we give up in the next twenty? I honestly shudder to think…

Delighting at Funerals

I may not do death well, but I can’t help but find delight in funerals.

I know it sounds strange if not cold or even cruel. Why would I delight over such a somber event when people are grieving and taking a final moment to say goodbye to a loved one?

As with my previous entry, it’ll all make sense by the end.

Let’s start with my Mamaw’s funeral (my grandmother on my mother’s side).

She loved animals. I didn’t know how much until we went out to eat for Thanksgiving. We passed a park with hundreds of Canada geese loitering in the grass. She nearly squealed and said, “Look at all those geese! I love geese!”

I smiled to myself at her joy, but also at my mom’s annoyance. She hated geese, because their house was in their twice-annual migration path and as such had to wade through a lot of goose poop every spring and fall.

Mamaw died less than a month later.

At her internment in a veteran’s cemetery where she was laid to rest with her first husband, there was a small park behind us with a pond. Neither my husband nor I could hear the pastor, because the geese behind us were squawking so loud. I hid my laughter in my husband’s shoulder and told him later, “I couldn’t think of a more perfect eulogy than that.” He said that he hid his own laughter thinking the same thing.

I believe Mamaw would have laughed right with us.

A few days ago was the funeral for my friend who lost her husband last week. I was pleased to see the parking lot and nearby street so full with friends and family. It gave me a clue as to how many people loved him. For me, I had only met him once, so I knew next to nothing about him other than he adored his wife, and she him.

So during the time when people could stand up and tell their favorite stories about him, I got to peek into the love and intimacy of his friend and family relationships. I found it both an honor and a privilege to witness it.

It was, in a word, delightful.