Back in Maine
Sometimes reality is better than imagination and anticipation. Laying Steven’s Mom, Lucille, to rest was difficult of course.
We haven’t yet realized how much we’ll miss her but our sadness is tempered by the joy of being surrounded by family, friends, wise souls and a life well lived. In her parting letter to her children, Lucille had only one demand on her children…”whatever happens, stay close.”
The funeral plans went smoothly (Lucille had made the myriad of difficult decisions years ago) and the attending minister was wonderful. He reminded us that Lucille didn’t fear death and how special she was to recognize the natural rhythm of life.
With the encouragement of management, we added a blue bird house to her grave site and the cemetery staff promised to feed the birds and continue their policy of planting bird friendly bushes and shrubs; a policy they implemented a few years ago as a means of comforting the mourning and improving the environment of the area.
And the neighbor who opened her beautiful Colonial home so that the 50 of us could gather for a meal after the service when the weather suddenly turned cold and wet…is this a New England thing or is everyone in America blessed like we are by generous friends?
Later in the week, the Assisted Living home invited us in for a special memorial service. It was warming to be reminded that Lucille really had two families…her natural children and the wonderful people who played bocci, watched movies and did crafts with her everyday. Their meals are served restaurant style and her table mates had stories to share that added a new dimension to her life in our eyes. The staff told us tales that shattered all images of cold, uncaring facilities for our aged population. We are ever grateful for their generosity.
To balance life with death, on Saturday we went to Boston in order to spend a balmy (72 degree) halloween with the nephews. I’d forgotten how much fun we could have singing “Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate” while we hunted for a parking space. Then we wandered the streets of Cambridge watching street performers on power pogo sticks and mimes pretending to be statues… and answered “when will it be dark” a bazillion times…but we laughed and played and ate too much candy while we trick or treated our way through the toy stores and curiousity shops…anything to help the kids wait until the bewitching hour 😉