I apologize for the long silence.
Life threw us a curve ball which my dad and I hit out of the park. My Aunt Clara, after an illness and much back pain, got sepsis and her kidneys shut down which is usually what happens with that illness...and she went home to be with Jesus. My dad and I decided to make the 6.5 hour drive (they live in W. PA near the OH border) to attend her funeral. I had not been there since I was in college and had not seen my cousins since my wedding 28 years ago.
The trip was something of a gamble for me as I didn't know how I would fare following that long in the car (a friend of my dad's loaned us his Sequoia SUV to make the trip as dad's car was in the shop). We were somewhat under the gun timewise as we left Monday morning and the viewing began at 4:00.
Despite pain (which really wasn't bad, thank the Lord) I was excited to make the trip. I had not been anywhere at all since my 25 year old daughter was a year old. And this elation did not fade throughout the trip except through the interminable 2 nights I spent in the hotel in pain because I cannot lay in a flat bed for more than an hour or two. I missed my recliner and my hospital bed horribly. I spent the night sitting on the (closed) toilet in the bathroom trying to be quiet and not wake my dad. I paced the floor....I took futile pain pills....and I requested prayer on Facebook.
Somehow I got through those nights, having had maybe an hour or maybe two of sleep each of those nights. It was marvelous to see my Aunt Dorothy (see photo: Aunt Clara on left and Aunt Dorothy on right) after chatting with her on the phone over the past year....Neither of us expected to see each other this side of the Kingdom. Dad and I got lost on Tuesday on our way to the memorial service...we went down a long dirt road which was wet...a mud bog as slippery as ice....and at one point did a slide that left a sheet of mud all over the backend of the SUV. Fortunately I picked up my dad's printed out directions from MapQuest and found that he'd gotten directions to the church where the funeral was to be held. Our GPS was useless in this area since it was way too rural for it to have any information.
We pulled into the church five minutes before the service began.
After the service (which was a beautifully done time honoring the life of my tiny, Spirit-filled aunt) there was a FEAST put on by the ladies of my aunt's church. I have not seen so much food in one place since my visit to an Amish Smorgasbord in Lancaster PA. It was a wonderful chance to visit more with cousins and my Aunt Dorothy (who is the last survivor of four siblings...my mom being the most recently departed one)
After the luncheon we went to Aunt Clara's house with her daughter and her husband and we visited there some more. I was ecstatic to see that Aunt Clara had an electric recliner also and wow, was my aching back ever ready to sit in that!!
The next day (wed) we ate our second huge breakfast spread at the Hampton Inn where we were staying and packed up for the trip home. The trip - thankfully- was uneventful except for the last hour and a half when my back was desperate to get out of that vehicle and stretch out on a bed.
I stayed at my dad's for another day and a half as he was driving me to the hospital for a medical test on Friday. More on that later.
All in all I had a lovely week and it was great to visit with my father for that long although I'm pretty sure he was ready for me to go back home LOL. If I could somehow erase pain from the calendar of events, it would have been perfect. Also it seems wrong to have so thoroughly enjoyed a funeral but I know that is what my aunt would have wanted. I could hear her heavenly laughter of delight as we celebrated her life.
That is how I want my funeral to be...a celebration of God's grace in my life and a chance for my survivors to have a great time with each other after a great worship service.