Sunday, April 30, 2006

It’s difficult to know what to say after such a long silence. I can’t really catch you up on all that has passed. Life has barreled on, the ups and the downs not subsiding. At one point I knew I didn’t want my journal to read like a continuous obituary – so I stopped writing. I will tell you we have had at least one funeral per month since my last post. All the deaths have been a great loss to many, although most were not a great surprise. I suppose at my age, this is not unusual. One more aunt hangs in the balance between life and death tonight, and if she leaves us in May she will continue the pattern.

I don’t mean to sound morose really. Death is a completely natural part of life. The people we have lost have all lived long, full and honorable lives. They were sure of their future in heaven and were ready to go. We just really didn’t expect them all to go at once.

The most recent funeral took place in Iowa. My husband’s grandmother was 90 years old. She had buried her parents, her husband, all of her 6 siblings and 2 of her 3 children, her only son just this last November in Arkansas. Every time she’d say goodbye, whether by phone or in person, she’d assure us she’d see us again soon, “If I’m not here the next time you come by, I’ll see you when you get to heaven.” She died on her way to my mother-in-law’s car. She had a bad case of indigestion and was off to see the doctor. She was completely healthy, remarkably so for a woman her age. She gasped a little, according to her daughter, and was gone before she hit the ground. She was caught up in a moment.

Perhaps she was like a pregnant woman who didn’t recognize the labor pains.

She, like my grandfather, looked unbelievably beautiful in her coffin. She had (get this) 12 grandchildren, 30-something great grandchildren and nearly 10 great-great grandchildren. I think every one of them was there. Her funeral was held on Good Friday. We celebrated Easter in Iowa, and what an incredible celebration it was.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. The pillars of my world have been exiting at a frightening pace. They are each of them the best of the best. They are irreplaceable.

Sometimes I wonder if this is what the rapture looks like. I am, to date, left behind.