They're on my mind tonight - the elders who are gone. My mother in law, my aunt and uncle, even my grandparents who have been gone such a long time. Probably because tomorrow is my aunt's birthday. Last year my mother planned a little celebration for her, in honor of her 85th birthday. We had done a similar party on her 80th, but it was a surprise. There were fewer guests this time around...seems like that's how it goes when you're that age. Every holiday has one less place at the table.
And also because I signed the papers to close her estate today. All my fiduciary duties are now complete, my last oppportunity to care for her, to do anything to help her - done.
In a strange twist of fate, tomorrow will find me at the cemetary where she's buried attending another funeral. Our friend's mother passed away on Saturday, and her funeral will be held there tomorrow morning. Her family had moved her to Cleveland several years ago, to facilitate being able to care for her. But her roots are in Michigan, and so this is where she comes to rest.
There seems to be a steady stream of passages lately, and it's hard not to be depressed by it. It makes me feel older than my years, I think, makes me worry over every little ache and pain, makes me stare squinty eyed at the people still left to me, looking for signs that they're moving toward that endless light so maybe I can grab their arm and pull them back into the present with me for a while longer.
Honestly, on some days, I'm not sure there's anything here worth pulling them back for.
But then Saturday afternoon there was a gathering to celebrate baby Lenna Rose, the newest member of my extended family...a second-cousin-once removed (I think).
And Saturday night there was a concert, a glorious celebration of the career of one man who has lived and breathed music for the past 40 years, a coming together of singers from all walks of life in proof of the ways music creates lifelong relationships. Tomorrow, although the occasion will be sad, it will bring together three men who have been friends for over 40 years. They rarely see each other, but continue to hold each other in high regard, continue to show up in remembrance of important life passages.
So I try to remember these things when I'm inundated with bad news about oil spills, and stalled economic recoveries, and stock market losses. Small good things, small pieces of evidence that there are miracles still to be found in my life and in yours.
Remembering is good.