by Debbie Walker

I remember thinking when we got out of school in June: “Wow, I’ll have more time for my projects!” I had been collecting the necessary items to be able to complete those projects. Well, that creates a mess of sorts because the house is not huge. So I also figured I would be making the house look less cluttered, too. I wasn’t expecting:

Mom just up and died! I think the train came along and said, “All aboard!” and Mom always has enjoyed a train ride, so off she went. She had just gotten her new driver’s license two weeks earlier. That’s how we know she didn’t know about the train ride coming so soon. If she had known she wouldn’t have bothered with taking that driver’s test for just two weeks of driving!

I am hoping you all have an effective way of dealing with grief and I know some folks rely on time lessening their pain. Grieve as you need to, acknowledge and accept the feelings you have a right to have and don’t beat yourself up if someone foolishly tells you, “It’s been long enough.” But please do try to fit in some of those special memories that are yours and make you smile. I suppose the time thing is part of ours, too. But in the meantime:

When Uncle Allen died in a white water canoeing accident the adult nephews who had been with him put things in his coffin they felt he needed to have: Twinkies and a can of Coke like they had shared that day. They all emptied their pockets of change and put that in because, “Unc didn’t go anywhere without money.” They also included a mini motorcycle (he was an avid rider).

When Grammie Bailey died my cousin Dennis and I got Gram’s last pack of Winstons [cigarettes] and put them in with her as she once requested. She told us she wouldn’t need a lighter! My Mom put in a crochet hook and a little yarn, she was a little shy about doing this (the process was new to her) until she stood by the casket and saw the big skein of red yarn and knitting needles, Mom let out a chuckle. My cousin Christy went up and told Mom that Grammie had promised her a pair of red mittens that winter and Christy was holding her to it!

We’re not really being disrespectful of the person who passed or anyone’s personal beliefs. Fortunately, some parts of this process are a bit less solemn with Celebration of Life gatherings. We had a DJ at Mom’s. It was our DJ’s way of expressing his love for Mom.

I pretty much lost the whole month of July and the first half of August has been given to a close friend’s wedding. Life does go on.

I am NOT just curious about what is next! Thank you for reading. Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com with questions or comments.


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