Set under a blue spruce we planted 30 some years ago rest my grandparents and my father.
This last weekend the circle was completed with arrival of mother.
She used to laugh when we'd visit this place.
This giant blue spruce. The only one in this massive cemetery filled of oaks and elms. She'd say, "we told them years ago when we bought these lots', that we would only do it if we could plant a nice blue spruce (from the land of our summer cottage) under where our 4 plots were". And there it is, loud and proud. And in the right light of day it "is" crayola blue spruce.. Ha.
The other laugh was that my mom had her birth date on her headstone, and she would clean it off and comment about the "other" date coming someday.
Well it's all done now. The shells of four saints lay together, silent and side by side. Waiting.. waiting.. waiting for the sound of a trumpet. No more space in that cemetery for us, so those four will make that blink of an eye journey without the rest of their family past and present.
And me. well, in that old blue spruce tree, tucked up under a branch hidden from view, is an old green canvas three legged camping stool that I hid there years ago. And on occasion when i needed a dad fix I would first travel to one of our secluded favorite golf holes that we used to play. And if that didn't bring me the connections to my father I desired with him, I'd find my way to the blue spruce. Yea I'd find and take down the stool, brush it off and sit at my fathers headstone. The process always moved to pulling out two quality cigars. I cut em both, light em and then lay one at my fathers headstone to slow burn as I enjoy mine and shed a pool of tears remembering why I am who I am between puffs.
This is what remains. This is what we have. Don't lose it my friends. Find a way to go back there and "remember". Share it with your children, and your children's children. Most the great people in this world ever took the time to write down their histories or their tragedies or triumphs. They just "did" it in a one of a kind way, and went to the ground quietly.
Someone came to my mothers home going the other day. I didn't expect them to be there, couldn't understand why? She was a young mother with children, who is relatively new in the faith. She emailed me later to say " I didn't know why I felt compelled to come to your moms service. But after it was over, I was taken a back. To know that after seeing her life story of raising 5 kids and over 100 foster kids, and the stories of all the lives "changed", I realized how important, and what an impact one woman of God can make as a wife and a mother. How many lives I could impact as a young mother she said. " So there it was - another confirmation of "good fruit from her vine".
And another friend said, Craig the legacy of your mom lives on in you and your children now. For others are here today because you all are modeling what your mom lived out. Reaching out to hands that were looking for love.
Well, as I sit in a coffee shop in Riverton Wyoming waiting for a storm to roll in, I will forever remember my mom carrying me to and fro on her hip during those years I was crippled. Thru sun rain and Snow. Never a complaint, never a look of "geeze do I have to do this again". Never a rememberance of her letting you know what she needed or desired. Always, getting it done, asking how you are and what do you need, supplying a positive word and a word of advice along with some vocabulary correction.
Do they make people like that anymore? ya know other than the vocabulary corrections, she really was a lot like Jesus.
Hey momma, I hope your deeds continue to teach me and mine to my children.