Thursday, August 11, 2016

Stop and Smell the Roses

Two funerals in two days - both of beloved family members. Two services with a multitude of emotions on display. One was quite simple and the other, more elaborate in the Anglican tradition.

The funerals were for the Uncle and Grandma of my husband. I don't think I'd ever met the Uncle, but since my husband comes from a large family, I'm sure I'd heard of him. Ultimately, prostate cancer took his life.

Grandma was the family matriarch and was fondly referred to as Mother Dear. My husband is the oldest grandchild who was lucky to know all of his grandparents. As an aside, I knew none of mine. The experiences that we have with our families are the roses we smell along the way. 

The strong ties to family pulled my husband, and in turn all of us to Jamaica often. My husband always spoke fondly of Christmas Dinner at Leas Flat and the role Mother D played. When I married into this family, I felt lucky for I was immediately accepted. Mother D was a sweet woman, with a calm demeanor who as they say nowadays "kept it real." She had no reason for pretense. I remember her sharing great wisdom with one of my daughters at a random point in time. "Live life, enjoy life, it won't always be easy, but hard times will pass," in that baritone voice of hers. She ought to know, as she had some hard times in her life.

Funerals are where we choose to remember the good in people in spite of their flaws; the tributes made us remember fondly. You nodded in agreement or chuckled as the truthfulness presented gave one last opportunity for remembrance. The chorus of this song embodied Mother D, so it was sung at her funeral:

You got to Stop and Smell the roses
You've got to count your many blessings everyday
You're gonna find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road
If you don't Stop and Smell the roses along the way [Source: Mac Davis - Stop And Smell The Roses Lyrics | MetroLyrics ]

This is a family ensconced by faith, cushioned with love. It's love that brought us together, love that seals our memories, love that keeps us close.

Death is the end of this life as we know it; I truly believe that family is one of the roses that we should smell and enjoy often until we are parted by death.

Two funerals in two days - remembering the good and stopping to smell the roses.


1 comment:

  1. I am sorry for your family's loss. Saying goodbye to loved ones can oftentimes be difficult. But I'm always prayerful that sweet memories comfort us. This is a lovely post . . . a good reminder to linger in the moments that matter most. This is usually our time with people. Thank you for sharing.

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