- It's always something. Our van had been in the shop for almost a week after the master cylinder malfunctioned (I just picked it up from the shop on 7/7); the mechanics said that it was "ready for a trip". On the morning of my mom's funeral, it had yet another brake problem. The Mister took the van to the shop and missed the funeral. My daughter Erin picked me and The Boy up and ferried us to the funeral home. Lifetime guarantees on the parts and labor were honored, thank goodness. We picked up The Mister so he could attend the luncheon after the services.
- It IS possible to make a long car trip with The Mister and The Boy and not have it be a crazy, drama-filled event. And I only screamed once, but it was not due to The Mister's driving (a Target truck almost made us a target).
- I have some awesome relatives. My brothers and sisters-in-law rock! And their children? They're all perfect! My daughter Erin is wonderful!
- The Boy can manage to say inappropriate things in any setting.
- I've missed seeing family a lot. I got some ferociously tight hugs from my niece Tammy and my nephew Todd. I hope we stay in touch.
- Never select the preacher recommended by the funeral home. He didn't have much of anything prepared, and said that our mom died in 2001 (and he was reading off a card). Geesh.
- I heard time and time again what a good friend my mother was. Former co-workers came and talked about how they loved working with her, and how she was a hard worker as well as a good friend. And to her friends, she wasn't Ruth - she was Ruthie.
- My mother also had many friends when she did ceramics. One of them, Sandy, knew the woman who bought my mom's house. While cleaning out the house, the new owner found a mother's ring (we bought it for her for Christmas about 30 years ago, I think). The homeowner gave it to Sandy - and Sandy had held onto it for five years, waiting to hear some news of my mother. She brought the ring with her to the funeral home. I was asked if I now wanted it, but The Boy and I both agreed that it was HER ring, so it was placed on my mother's finger, where it belongs.
- My mother was a matchmaker. In the mid-70s, she worked with Janet. She knew a guy named Tom who was perfect for her, and introduced them. Tom and Janet married and had a daughter. Janet's husband and daughter came to the funeral home and he told the story - and that he owes his marriage and his family to my mom. Unfortunately, Janet died six years ago - Tom said that Janet and Ruthie were together now, laughing and joking, like they always did. Tom sheepishly asked if he could be a pall bearer.
- If my mother was your friend, she stayed your friend. People I hadn't seen for forty years came to her viewing...and I remembered who they were.
- She was so much more than my mother. When she wasn't burdened by the responsibility of caring for her children, she was funny and kind and helpful.
- I might have a bit of my mother in me, as Dana, a friend from junior high, also came to the viewing.Thanks, Dana!
When I'm Gone
When I come to the end of my journey
And I travel my last weary mile,
Just forget if you can, that I ever frowned
And remember only the smile.
Forget unkind words I have spoken;
Remember some good I have done.
Forget that I ever had a heartache
And remember I've had loads of fun.
Forget that I have stumbled and blundered
And sometimes fell by the way.
Remember I have fought some hard battles
And won, ere the close of the day,
Then forget to grieve for my going,
I would not have you sad for a day,
But in summer just gather some flowers
And remember the place where I lay,
And come in the evening
When the sun paints the sky in the west,
Stand for a few moments beside me
And remember only my best.
Wouldn't the world be a sunnier place if we all only remembered the good others have done?
Maybe we can start a trend.
Thanks for the reminders, Mom. Rest well.