When all the foolishness has cleared, when my eyes are set on other things than boys and selfishness, I am in the presence of quiet gifts. Moments only I will know and am so blessed to have been given. I see You, God. 😉
Today, we went to the funeral of a close friend of Dad’s. (This is not a sad story.) I knew him only in name. As I pulled my black sweater with flowers over my head, I heard Mom crying from downstairs. I’m not sure if she knew him or not– but the sentiment was there. We hurried out the door, running a bit behind as usual.
We met with my aunt as she walked from her car. We headed inside as a family. My brother, David, held the door for us and another family. I held back, waiting for him. An unspoken connection and understanding.
Inside, unfamiliar men and women took notice of my gentle-giant father and greeted him with excited hugs and somber smiles. Introductions, sad smiles, loving. David and I found a couch on the side of the room where the ceremony would be. The room was full. My aunt wandered in and we traded positions. I perched on the arm of the couch. That’s exactly, fate would happen, where I was supposed to be.
A woman stood leaning against the wall to my right, taking in the room. She looked alone. We started talking. She turned out to be an incredible gift. She sat next to me on the arm of the couch and told me about the peaceful man in the casket. Two birds huddling together.
“He was intense,” my eyebrows shot up, “…and caring, and oh so loving. He would take the time to really get to know who you were as a person.” There was a calmness to her. Generosity in her eyes.
She cleaned for his mother and someone else, when she wasn’t working as a flight attendant and loving on her new husband. “It’s a different kind of serving. But it’s good. You go out and serve these high-profile people… celebrities… and then you come home and serve mother’s of friends. Cleaning houses. It’s humbling.” I sat and listened. She didn’t say it to brag. When my dad said ‘hello’ earlier, he didn’t leave her with much talking room. Now, she had the floor it seemed. He should have listened, too.
The pastor began to speak. He introduced himself as “Mark Lyle.” I shot a look back at my dad. Another of his best friends. It’s strange to see them in person.
The speech was good. Touching. He was funny and kind and I got a glimpse into the character of a man who touched those around me. The man who had passed was a his best friend, too. I liked that Mr. Lyle didn’t make him seem like an angel. He mentioned his flaws in a loving way. He was very stubborn, apparently. I liked that. I would have liked him, I think.
The kind woman next to me sniffled and held back quiet sobs. I tried to give her room to mourn. I didn’t acknowledge her suffering except to hand her the tissue box in the beginning. She shook her head ‘no.’ She had a folded private supply shoved carefully in her pants. hahaha
At the end of the service, we bowed our heads to pray. I finally allowed the tears to leak from my eyes. The suffering around me had had it’s effect. I sniffled. I felt a weight on my folded hands and opened my eyes to see a folded tissue. “Thank you.” I whispered. I hope she heard me.
She was gone when I opened them again. She must have left early to help with the after-dinner.
I saw Mrs. Depollo later. Another incredible woman. I will bore you of the details no longer, don’t worry. 🙂 But she is quite a lady. If I could choose to grow up to be like someone–it would be her. And of every coincidence, apparently her daughter is a TESL teacher. In San Diego. The city I fell in love with in unusual circumstances. What a strange day.
We walked out somber, happy and close. David tortured me playfully once we reached the parking lot. I glared. I listen to stories of old friends in the kitchen. What a good home. What a lucky home. I am fortunate.