We laid Mom to rest yesterday.
Under a cloudless, clear blue sky at noon yesterday; John, Barbara, Isaac and I arrived at the James J. Terry Funeral Home in Downingtown to pay our last respects to our Mother.
Jim Terry and his staff at the funeral home had everything perfectly in place. The soft music from the memorial DVD of old photos that I made of Mom was playing as we entered the viewing room.
Mom was resting in her white metal casket, surrounded by a colorful rainbow of flowers and two candles glowing softly at each end of casket. Seeing those beautiful flowers reminded me of the many times I took Mom to funerals of family members and how she enjoyed seeing the many flower arrangements. She always asked me to check the tags to see who sent the flowers. She wouldn't be doing that this morning. Already, another reminder of how much I will miss her.
The doors to the viewing room were opened at 1 pm to let in her friends and relatives. The first people I saw were my good friends and former high school classmates, the "Two Judys." What a pleasant surprise. Neither one of the Judy's knew my Mother personally, but they still stopped by to pay their respects. Friends, there is no greater treasure in this life than good friends.
Another classmate of mine, Jack, also came through the door to pay his respects. That was the way the rest of the day went, full of pleasant surprises.
Perhaps the only time where I really began to lose it was when my mother's sister, Aunt Ruthie, was wheeled in by her husband Spike to see her sister who basically raised her when she was a young child. Ruth was the youngest in my Mother's family. She was the daughter of my grandfather's third wife. My Mother was the youngest daughter of his first wife. My Mom's mother died when she was only a year and a half old. Ruthie was inconsolable. She stretched her thin arms out from her wheelchair and placed them on the edge of my Mother's coffin. She looked up at my Mother then dropped her head between her arms and her thin shoulders began to shake as she cried. I gave her some tissues to wipe away the tears that were streaming down her face. After a few moments Spike wheeled her away to the side of the room. Later on I glanced over and saw her, still starring with pained disbelief at her sister who was now gone from her life forever.