The day dawns inappropriately bright. Snow covers the ground and the way is icy.
We arrive at the church
I had not seen my mom in five years and this was not the way I’d wanted to see her again
She lay there in her open casket.
It took a moment to compose myself and approach the casket.
The makeup seems unusually dark and I’m struck by her similarity to her mother. A resemblance I’d never noted before.
People stand around – some silent, some not.
My brothers are there as is my sister and my nieces.
I miss Emily.
The service is about to begin.
it is a strange, unwieldy Catholic ceremony.
My brother Troy, the youngest, is there. Older brothers Kevin and Michael arrive looking disheveled. Ruth, Shawna and Sara are with me. My cousins, aunts and uncles are there.
It is a day for the inappropriate – bright sky, white snow and dark chattering.
The church is Guardian Angels in Orillia. The priest, Father Edwin Galea, speaks. He is a quiet, thoughtful and well-traveled man. He speaks well. Speaking with quiet dignity and clear focus, making comparisons to other families who have lost loved ones and of course to the Pope who has just passed away.
We journey from the church to the grave-site.
Mom will be buried next to my grandfather and grandmother.
It is an emotional time.
My cousin Tom offers a hand. Appreciated.
We go from there to a reception at the Moose Lodge. Inappropriate, as my mother never cared for the place.
I meet people I haven’t seen for years.
I’m sorry to say my mother’s close friend Ron was not included in the arrangements. Ron was a fixture of our childhood. He was always there for mom and tended to mellow her.
He was always good to us. He never tried to replace my father who had been gone sometime after my fourth birthday. Ron and I shared the same birthday and his presence made the day somewhat pleasant. Cheer was a rarity for my childhood within our home.
I saw him and managed to have a quiet word. He is both devastated and hurt by the slight of not being included. I read this in his face. He has the grace to leave it unspoken. He had the right to say it aloud.
I remember why I’ve lived in Asia for ten years.
I will be glad to return home.
Tags: About Me, Canada, casket, Changsha, china, ESL, Family, futility, grief, Hunan, Life outside of work, Living the dream, Mariposa, Ontario, Orillia, overseas living, Travel, vacation