They buried my Auntie today.
There were so many things happening so fast, that it wasn’t at all feasible for Certain Man and I and my Sweet Mama to try to go. But my heart was there. I wish there would have been a live stream available, but I guess there wasn’t.
We had overnight company — pleasant company, indeed, and then church this morning and company for lunch today. Fourteen around the dinner table plus Love Bug in her high chair. Roast beef, new potatoes, gravy, corn, lima beans, pretzel salad, homemade bread, double layer chocolate cake, ice cream, sweet tea. It sounds like a big meal, and there was plenty left over, but if the truth be told, it is one of the easiest Sunday meals there is to put together. Clean up isn’t much fun, but many hands make work light.
Suddenly, just before the last dishes were washed, my energy was gone, and I handed the reins over to Middle Daughter and gracegiven and I got some pain meds and got out of my church dress and into my housecoat and literally crashed onto my favorite chair. (gracegiven and her family were the only ones still here, and I consider them family, so didn’t think anyone would be offended with my attire.) Little Victoria came over and climbed up on my lap, and I stayed awake long enough to sing “The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout. Down came the rain, and washed the spider out. Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain,: and the itsy …” while tickling her and squishing her and whispering secrets in her ears, but then I fell fast asleep in that chair, and when I suddenly woke up about a half an hour later, Kent’s were leaving and I had actually gotten myself a good nap.
Certain Man and I followed them out, and sat on the old church bench beside the garage door and surveyed the waning afternoon. Kent and gracegiven got their children all corralled and safely belted. They pulled out of the driveway, waving and smiling, and we waved and smiled them off, then sat together in the comfortable silence. It has been pleasant and the temps have been actually rather moderate. The butterflies were flitting about on the flowers and there was an occasional humming bird. There’s a slight breeze and I looked at the flowers and wondered if I should shear them back so they can grow out again.. Suddenly a neighbor man came flying in the chicken house lane in his old beat up truck and leaped out and went into Certain Man’s shop.
“I wonder what Chris Willey wants,” I said to Certain Man.
“Oh, he probably forgot something on the tractor and came back for it.” This particular neighbor often borrows things on Sunday Morning while Certain Man is at church, and he had gotten a tractor this morning, used it and brought it back. I watched at how confidently he marched into Certain Man’s shop and then strode back out, lifting something triumphantly in our direction from half a farm away, and got back into his funny old truck and sped out of the driveway again.
“Well,” I said reflectively to Certain Man, “he certainly acts comfortable marching in and out of your shop.”
Certain Man laughed, “Yeah, well. You wouldn’t do that to his shop.”
“Why not?” I ask.
“His is all locked up!” He laughed again, a bit ruefully. “He knows he can do it here. And it’s okay.”
Then Certain Man announced his intention to grab a nap and I remembered that I had the offerings from the last three weeks to enter into the computer, so I decided to do some desk work. When I finally got my computer to boot up, I realized that The Funeral had gone on without me thinking seriously about it. I had planned to take some time to sing the song that the cousin’s choir usually sings at the funerals of the Aunts and Uncles. I had planned to ponder and maybe shed some tears and pray. And I suddenly realized that the funeral was probably over. Without me. Somehow I felt gypped. I wanted to feel a part of it even though I wasn’t there, but my opportunity had slipped through the fingers of my afternoon while I washed dishes, tickled a little girl, and slept.
There are lots of things that we can feel bad about, but this is one of those things that I don’t think my Auntie would want me to beleaguer myself about. If anyone would understand about company and little girls held close on a lap and food needing to be put away and dishes needing to be washed, it would be she. I can almost see the smiley lines crinkling into her sweet, sweet face, and I can imagine hearing her say, “Now, Mary Ann, you did what was important at the time. There will be plenty of time to sit and think, and I will always be a part of your memories. Nothing can take that away from you. And we’ll have time someday to catch up on all the things we hadn’t finished. So be sure to Be There!”
I intend to be there, Aunt Naomi. And it won’t just be in my thoughts. I intend to BE THERE, with that new body that won’t suddenly get tired half way through the Sunday afternoon dishes. We will sit together and there won’t be any “waning” to the afternoon or need for those wonderful Sunday Afternoon Naps!
What a day that will be!