For six years beyond our mother’s passing we have watched the sunrise and set. The brilliant colors this morning are a testament that life goes on. She also strictly forbid us not to print poems or tributes to her after she was gone, but I am doing this anyway. She also wanted no funeral, only a memorial in the funeral chapel, and I point blank told her funerals are for the living so they may grieve. I think her big concern was the cost to us, but we managed.
She also didn’t care about the flowers sent for her funeral, but would rather have had them prior to her passing. I kept buying her rose bushes, but we never got them growing and blooming. There is still one in her yard that is a pain to clean and mow around, and if I trusted myself to transplant it I would, but I don’t want it to die.
Yesterday we gathered at my house for soup and botched bread (she would have laughed at me) and in our own way, though we didn’t speak of it much, we remembered that weekend of her passing. We each have our own story of how we were told, most stressful, some expectant.
I will never get over not spending New Year’s Eve with her that last year. It was the first time since we moved to this area that we did something with friends. James accepted the invitation in a neighborly gesture, and I was beside myself, but not sure how to bow out without a fight.
I am pretty sure that I went to her house earlier that day. We were all (her, Glenda and me) working on a puzzle in the living room of all places. She kept leaving to go on her oxygen. She told Glenda of these vivid dreams of walking through a beautiful garden with her mother, holding hands, and she was a little girl again. The story of that dream gives me more hope than almost anything else I have ever heard.
I used to dream of her, but don’t much anymore. My daughters do. One day one of them called me and asked what the thermostat was set at in her house (my sisters and I were given that house and still have it pretty much as she left it). That daughter, Victoria had a dream with grandma in it and she said her house was too cold. It was winter and we had the thermostat on something like 55. James and I went to check if the furnace was working and the pipes were ok. Her kitchen sink used to freeze up, but it was ok.
Thinking about her today and trying to count the years, I for some reason couldn’t do the math. I was so frustrated, I kept counting it out the way I do in terms of some one’s grade in school or where I was working. Paulina was a sophomore in high school, so 2 years more of high school, 2 years at BSC now 2 years at UJ should make 6. I kept looking at the date on my heading: Jan. 17, 2016 and the math didn’t work. I finally realized that I had the wrong year on the heading, and have since changed it. I realize that some things just make me too upset to think correctly.
Tonight I will watch the sunset to see if it is a pretty as the sunrise. I know that no matter how beautiful the sky is for us to see, those who see it from the other side see a beauty we can only imagine. The song that our family has sung or listened at funeral’s since my great-grandfather Jacob Fuehrer passed away is “Beyond the Sunset.” Someday we will get to join them all there, what a wonderful day that will be.
The lyrics of that song written by Virgil Brock and Blanche Kerr Brock end with this as the fourth verse according to the hymnal we use. “Beyond the sunset, O glad reunion, with our dear loved ones who’ve gone before: In that fair homeland we’ll know no parting: Beyond the sunset, forevermore! Is there anything else we can ask? I don’t think so.