Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Reflections


The funeral is over and I have discovered a few truths:

I really love my brother. My brother is one of the strongest, funniest and sentimental men I know. He gave a beautiful, funny and poignant eulogy for my father at the service (something I could never have done). He also made me laugh a lot during my visit which I really needed. His wife has been very supportive to me throughout My-Army-Guy's deployments and is always available to me whenever I've needed a friend to talk to. She's a great listener and her emails make me laugh.

I really love my sister. My sister has taught me about thoughtfulness. By "thoughtfulness" I mean taking the time to reflect and let things sink in. I am so reactionary that I really need to be reminded to "think on things". My sister is one of the most important women in my life - when I look in her face it's like looking into a mirror. I see not only myself, but I see my mother, my father and I also see bits of myself that I had forgotten. I see strengths I once possessed, dreams I used to have, memories I thought lost.

I will never have another friend like Susan. She is like a second sister to me and I bawled my eyes out saying goodbye to her. She is so selfless, kind and supportive. She cooked for us, brought us ham and rolls, ran errands for us, put us up in her lovely home and gave me lots of hugs and sage advice. I have lived by her words through this whole loss: "Edith, this will be like a roller coaster and you just have to expect it and go with it". Having this mantra playing in my head gave me just the excuse I needed to cry at the grocery store and on the airplane without feeling embarrassed. Grief is just a fact of life.

My dad was a great guy. His friends, family and coworkers loved him. At the memorial service about 15 people gave spontaneous remembrances: great fish stories, sailing stories, Alaska stories. Two of his grandchildren stood up and spoke. One of my favorite remembrances was given by my Slovakian brother-in-law. He reflected on his first day in this country in 1991. My Dad had arranged to purchase a new Slovak flag (the country had just split into Czech Republic and Slovakia). The new flag was flying when he drove up to my dad's house for the first time. He thought it was so amazing and shocking actually to see that flag flying because in his country they would only fly the flag for the president. Regular citizens were arrested for flying the flag on their own.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said Edith!!