Saturday, May 06, 2006

Saturday Update

I just got home from Barb's funeral. It was a great celebration of her life. Her sister-in-law, Pam, eulogized her in the PERFECT way, remembering many funny and poignant stories about Barb. Russ and I were asked to sing, "I Can Only Imagine." We had never sung it before. It went fine in rehearsal, but I had tears pooling up in my eyes during Pam's eulogy, and we were to follow. By the time we approached the podium, I realized my contact lenses were swimming in the tears-just sort of floating around haphazardly, making clear vision difficult. So much for seeing the words. But the song went off well, in spite of the floating contact lenses, and I made it through the whole song without breaking down.

It was a beautiful day for a burial. A warm sunny day with bright blue skies and green green "bluegrass" and a caressing breeze. Hard to believe I just said goodbye to such a good friend. I actually said my goodbyes on Sunday, but this one seemed so final.

The first time I had a real conversation with Barb was almost a year ago exactly. I complimented her on her funky flipflops at our Memorial Day picnic. Next Sunday, she was bringing me a pair to match hers. The week she was diagnosed with cancer our Secret Prayer Pals were revealing identities. Barb was my Secret Pal. The gift was to be a clue to who our pal was. I opened a straw bag STUFFED with flipflops. There must have been 4 or 5 pairs of these NICE fun flipflops, in all colors. Barb was just like that. Battling cancer and still thinking of others. I almost wore those flipflops today, but some would not have appreciated the humor in it (although I have it on good authority that Barb was wearing Micky Mouse socks hidden by the lower part of the casket lid).

I was cleaning out my purse last night, and I found a thank you note that Barb wrote us on April 21st. Not that long ago, but an eternity ago.

Today, as I was driving home, the radio was playing the song we had sung today, "I Can Only Imagine." It was THEN that it hit me. What it must be like for her. Maybe the song should be "I Can't EVEN Imagine." Heaven is too grand, too worshipful, too filled with God for me to be able to comprehend what it will be like while I'm on this side of death's door. But BARB knows.

To her testimony there were two people who attended the funeral rather than being in the hospital. One was being checked out for heart problems. He spend one night in the hospital, and when they cleared him of a heart attack, he asked to be released so he could attend the visitation on Friday. He was a good friend of the family and will go back for more tests this coming week. Another woman, an daughter-like friend to Barb, was to have her baby this weekend because her blood pressure had been creeping up. She had already been hospitalized once a couple of weeks ago. She asked if she could wait two days to have the baby, so she could honor Barb by attending the visitation and the funeral. Not many folks these days put someone else first (as evidenced by the rude drivers who did not stop for the funeral procession), but anyone who knew Barb put their "stuff" on hold this week. There were at least 475 at the visitation. Several flew in, and several drove great distances.

Yesterday she would have been 51.

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