How do you follow up an obituary? I didn’t realize when I posted it that it would be so hard to put up another post after it. How do I push such an important part of my life off the front page? And I guess I do that by doing what Grandmother did all her life as long as she was able: roll up my sleeves, get back to work and do the next thing.
The wake was incredible. We knew Grandmother was well liked and respected, but you never truly know all the lives they touch. Grandmother loved large and wide, casting a net of good over 3 counties, and it showed in the people who flowed in and out of that mortuary. Pretty impressive for a woman who never drove anything except a tractor. A woman who had far outlived all her contemporaries.
The funeral was also full, and the eulogy was fitting except that the preacher (who always called Grandmother “Mrs Chauncey” in life), mispronounced her first name the first few times he said it, causing the entire family to startle the first time, and writhe in embarrassed agony after that. He finally said it correctly, and then proceeded to call her Mrs. Chauncey for the rest of the service. Just so you aren’t left in suspense, it’s pronounced “Merle”.
We chose to celebrate life, instead of mourning death, and though I did cry a bit, I realized those were selfish tears, that they were for me and not for her, and I would imagine her up in heaven, smiling that wonderful smile, and it was okay. I did indeed have to go back into the house and grab her photograph to take with me in the van to the services, and that was ok, too. My Grandmother was such an incredibly large part of my life for so very long, it would be impossible to not feel sad at her passing. The truth is that I lost my Grandmother quite awhile ago.
Although the casket was closed for the services, the family was allowed to view her body. It was obvious from her face that she had indeed had a stoke as my mother had surmised last November. What we could not pinpoint in life was very obvious in death. Both sides of her face looked “normal”, but they did not match. And the final proof for me, if I needed it, that my Grandmother was NOT in that box was in her hands. All my life, Grandmother had skin that bruised if you looked at it wrong. She always said “be careful of my legs, I’ll get a place if you bump it”. She called them “places” because … well, I don’t know because, but she did. So, in life the backs of her hands were always mottled with big ugly purple and red splotchy “places”. In death, they were white. Not my Grandmother’s hands at all.
But she wore a fine red dress.
And now, I have climbed back onto the blogging wagon, and I must work, because there is work to be done. I cannot think of any logical way to mention truck bed liner in the body of this post, so here it is, tacked onto the end like pure tackiness itself.