Sister’s Last Good-Bye

Yesterday we as a family gathered to say our last good-bye to our sister Rose. Our son-in-law and daughter drove us down for the Celebration of Life, which was held at Moose Jaw. This was directed by a Celebrant who read the write-up of her life the family had written out. Then her oldest daughter came to the mike and read her memories of Mom, at times with a smile and at times pausing while the tear flowed.

I learned some interesting things I hadn’t known about my sister, including the fact that she and her husband met on a blind date set up by friends. She was only fifteen-and-a-half but it must have been love at first sight. Only six weeks later he popped the question in a unique way, simply telling her, “There’s something on the kitchen table for you.” She went to look, saw the small box and said, “YES!”

After the service there were hugs and tears and a lunch at the reception hall, where a video was shown. This was a collage of photos of her life and some of those photos brought me to tears. I remember those years, the little girl in some of those pictures.

Watching the years of her life pass in flickers on the screen was hard in a way, because she’s so alive in those scenes. You want to pull her back! There were a few snaps of her childhood and teen years, some from her wedding day. I saw a few showing some of us siblings together, a couple showing our parents, us as a family together at her house after our dad’s funeral. These were interspersed with many pictures of them as a young couple, growing older, travelling. We saw her two daughters at birth, as teens, their weddings, then them as parents; with many shots of the extended family and/or Rose holding and playing with her grandchildren. A lifetime well lived and enjoyed.

As I’ve already said, Rose was the only sibling I’ve had steady contact with through the years; the others I met more often in passing at functions. I will definitely miss her and that continuing family contact.

Perhaps because of those pictures, last night life as a whole took on a dream-like feeling. This present life seems like a flowing stream of incidents, scenes viewed from a train window as we speed through time. The world waiting on the other side seems like the true solid ground.

I’ve a cousin who says there’s no life beyond this one. You die; that’s it. Lights out. As a Christian I accept the Bible teaching on Heaven, but most people of various faiths do believe in, or at least hope for, a land of peace and light on the other side. People who have been revived after clinical death claim to have experienced some life after their last breath. All hallucinations?

At the service we were told that Rose definitely believed in a life after this one. The names of other family members were mentioned, people Rose would be meeting and joining over there. As the poet, Fanny Crosby, wrote, “Oh, the dear ones in glory how they beckon me to come, and their parting at the river I recall.”

After the lunch, siblings and spouses of Rose and her husband, their daughters and families, had a little service at the crematorium. Another round of tears and hugs, then her ashes were left there and we joined the extended family members at a lunch at her oldest daughter’s home. So now the day is over, except for the quiet grieving we’ll all go through.

Tumbling Scenes

Today’s prompt word over at Ragtag Daily Prompt is REALM

River of Time.3“Oh, a wonderful stream is the river of Time
as it runs through the realm of tears…
And blends with the ocean of years!”

From The Long Ago, by Benjamin F. Taylor

I had to think of another realm when I woke up this morning, after having had a wild, tumbling, crazy sequence of dreams. I went from playing baseball game to being bullied to walking down a road to going on our honeymoon—with our son-in-law and daughter as chauffeurs—to finding a motel room that was completely bare to another friend finding homes for boxer pups.

Dreams are indeed another realm. No one can say just how dreams come together in such a crazy quilt, with snatches of our real lives interwoven with stories we’ve read or heard. People wander through, fade in and out, morph into others. I’ve found that physical feelings like pain or a room too warm, even if not enough to wake me up, contribute to the amount and the wackiness of my dreams.

They can be interesting, that’s for sure. Some have even revealed attitudes I didn’t recognize when I was awake. Still, I sometimes think, “Blessed are they who never remember their dreams.”

What do you think?

At any rate, I’d like to invite you to pop over to the Ragtag Community and dream up some response of your own to the word REALM — which happens to be the one I suggested. 😉

Clock of Life

The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.

To lose one’s wealth is sad indeed,
To lose one’s health is more,
To lose one’s soul is such a loss
That no man can restore.

The present only is our own,
So live, love, toil with a will,
Place no faith in “Tomorrow,”
For the Clock may then be still.

Robert H. Smith

clock-359985_640
Gerd Altmann – Pixabay

The Daily Addictions prompt word this morning: CLOCK

Dreams & Designs

A NEW DAY

Crest of a wave on the eastern horizon
a barely discernible glow at first
seeps over to inundate the heavens
driving night to the west end of time.

As it travels across the sky it washes
away the pain and sorrows of yesterday
prompts pardon for past wrongs
effects forgiveness in its undercurrent.

The sun arrives to shake the sleepyheads
insisting on new designs and dreams.
People open their eyes to grumble, moan,
or thank God for a new day!

— Christine Goodnough