Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I'm Back ... and a Memorial
I can't believe it's been so long since I've written. This is the traditional opening for most diary entries and not a few personal letters and emails. In this case, however, it's strictly accurate. I really can't. One of the things that has kept me busy in the "real" world has been the final illness of Bev, Scott's "adopted" mom. Most of you know about this, and have been so supportive and kind to me. I've appreciated beyond words your emails, calls, cards. I've needed them.
I've been so privileged to spend several days each week most of the last month in Orofino, keeping house for Gordon, Bev's husband, and being "the thing that is not quiet in the house"--it was the silence that was killing him. I knew that Bev was well-taken-care-of at the hospital, and had a steady stream of visitors (Gordon was there every day), and decided that my duty was to make sure he stayed on his feet and had a lighted house to come home to every night possible.
Bev slipped away last Monday night about 8:30. One of her sons had left to go home to Florida that morning. Before he left, he told her, "Mom, we have everything all organized, tidied up, and taken care of. If you're tired of fighting, just let go. It's all right if you're ready." 10 hours later, she was ready.
Her funeral was last Saturday. Over 250 people crammed into the Lutheran church in Orofino -- people were sitting in the hallways. The service was liturgical, and I found the well-known texts and the bread and the wine comforting. The window I sat under was a memorial stained-glass window that Bev gifted to the church after the death of her parents. The sun outside shone through Christ arisen and poured over my children playing on the pew beneath Him. Mara spent the prayer trying to kick her sister's head.
All four of Bev's sons (to include my husband) wept during the service, but at home, it was like the best kind of Irish wake. We sat around the kitchen table and laughed, reminisced, drank (liquids of varying strength, depending on your preference), ate. Gordon told stories of his wife, and of his boyhood. Sven and Scott told stories of waterfights through the house, playing football together in the yard, wrestling in the back of the pickup on the way down the river road until they both became violently carsick. Emily looked for Grandma Bev to ask where the art paper was, until she remembered.
How I'll miss her. But yet, it feels "normal" -- a part of the roll of seasons, the movement of life. Children are born, others die. Bev had great faith in her Redeemer, and I have no doubt that I will find her on the Resurrection Day, delighted to see how the children have grown, eagerly searching for her friends and children. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.