Mom, you are a beautiful soul too. This was evident while planning her memorial service, especially as family and friends gathered to remember her.
You are a Beautiful Soul
Remember that you are a beautiful soul when you start feeling less than your perfection. Because when your life is done, it’s the memories of your beautiful soul that remains.
The First Decision
It was just me when Mom breathed her last. My husband passed three months and three days earlier. My sister had moved to be close to the birth of her first grandchild, and I had moved to a new life in North Carolina. That sounds as lonely as life can be, but there is a unique peace amid loneliness. It allows deep healing.
Waiting until the Saturday after Thanksgiving also gave me time to process the loss of my husband and mother. It helped make it a true celebration of her life. After that, the first decision of place was easy.
Mom grew up in Winter Haven, Florida. It was where she worshiped, and it was my birthplace. So many relatives were close, and those far away could get time off work. It seemed a perfect time.
My wedding was six years prior, also right after Thanksgiving. I conveniently forgot about the difficulties during the planning phase. It’s a time when businesses other than retail aren’t always available.
Catering became a hurdle in the week before Mom’s memorial. Suddenly, the restaurant closed for the holiday weekend. Scrambling over the phone with the church administrator, she found a last-minute substitute. Then the plan for dessert fell apart. A change from coconut custard pie to various cakes solved this latest snafu. Some of these calls were while I was at a gas station on my way to Florida the Thursday before Thanksgiving. Oddly, I wasn’t flustered by any of it.
Everything worked out beautifully. Some expected to attend but didn’t show, and a few new, treasured guests were able to make it.
Time Gave Me Space
Compared to my grief at my husband Wayne’s memorial, I felt almost blissful this time. Instead of hiding in the back room for grieving family, my sister and I welcomed guests in the church narthex. Here’s a photo of my younger son, Larry, and me by the sign-in book. Since Mom had been using a weekly calendar as a diary, I chose to use the 2022 book, placing it next to her framed photo.
Many people mentioned how lovely the service was. Part of the success came from a long phone conversation with Pastor Reich. So many small details flowed forth as he asked me questions about Mom’s life. It was like a review of everything that I loved about her. He wove her personality and small acts of kindness into a fabric that was her life. It was then I realized, Mom, you are a beautiful soul.
I told my mother how much I loved her many times while caring for her during the last few years. And she reciprocated.
Take the time this week to tell someone you love them. Give them a warm hug if you can. If they are too far away, wrap your arms around yourself and say, “You are a beautiful soul.” And know that you are a beautiful soul too.
2 thoughts on “You are a Beautiful Soul”
The night my mom walked-on, was a Sunday. I stayed home from work as I had a dental appointment the next day. Mom asked me to sing her favorite song, the theme song from “COPS” and other traditional songs. Mom loved all LEOs, from park rangers to our local LEOs; and since she was raised by her grandfather who was a medicine man – she taught us traditional songs.
She asked me several times why I was home, and I repeated my reason several times. Mom’s memory was being stolen from her a little at a time…she didn’t remember my sister and I most of the time, but that was okay. That evening she talked about my dad and how much she missed him.
We normally sleep on cushions next to mom’s bed and Mary woke me up after I fell asleep; thinking she needed help changing her I woke up fast. Only this time dad had came for mom to take her home. Dad’s lingering tobacco smell was in the air so we were “okay” with mom leaving us for him.
I miss them every day and much more during this time of the year. I don’t believe people when they say ‘it gets better with time’, no it doesn’t! I hate the holidays and birthdays, BUT… I still ‘celebrate’ each those dates with my sisters and hug them when I leave. We only have each other to move forward….
What a beautiful story, Lola. Your family has a long tradition of healers. I feel our grief changes in intensity. For me, that feels better. Thank you for sharing.
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