Bye Bye Birdie
I used to call Mom birdie because she ate so little when she was done making sure everyone else had what they needed and finally sat down to dinner with the family.
She was laid to rest on Valentine's Day. It was a simple funeral that centered on what a wonderful mother she was, though she would have been the last to let others know.
The funeral was at Girrbach funeral home on the corner, a half block from our old family home. Those who were a part of our past filtered in and we mingled. Rev. Kathy Brown from the Methodist Church conducted a gentle service about love, and especially love of family and how Mom showed it in everything. My husband isn't a fan of women ministers, but even he was impressed!
To say Mom looked lovely in the casket sounds silly, but even she would have been pleased.
We requested donations to the hospital fund, in honor of Mom's having worked there, but there were a few flowers and a cast stone angel that my sweet daughter in law's family sent and told me to take home to my garden.
My friends Peg, Denny and Ray were there and even our first babysitter Linda. A few of Mom's friends showed up and some other friends of the family, but it was a really scattered background of people, which was comforting. Two of our cousins even spoke for the first time in awhile, which Mom would have loved. We heard wonderful personal stories concerning Mom's deeds that we were never aware of and stories of others who could not come but wanted to be remembered.
Afterward, we drove to the cemetery for a graveside service and older brother John read a page he wrote the night before that mentioned how fortunate the four of us felt to be her children and the "kindness" and positive attitude she taught us. We limited that part of the plans because the roads in the cemetery were barely plowed enough for the few cars to make it up the hill.
We drove to the Methodist Church, the church we grew up in, to sit with those who attended and talk over a luncheon proved by the women of the church. A trip up to the sanctuary brought back so many fond memories of our youth.
It was such a surreal experience that we knew we would have to face one day. Mom was a class act and someone to guide us the rest of our lives. I think she was smiling with pride all the way to heaven for a life well spent. Many of us think that we have to achieve things in our careers or make a name for ourselves, but the love of family is by far the highest compliment in my opinion.
The meek shall inherit the earth.
Bye Bye, Birdie...you are in our hearts forever.
With Love from your children,
John, Marilyn, Bob and Martha