Monday, August 18, 2014
Jacob Set a Pillar Upon Rachel's Grave: Genesis 35:20
Yesterday was my mother's unveiling. While it should have been done before her first yarzheit, I delayed. I jokingly (well, not totally) told my sister-in-law Lorrie that I was still holding out hope that mom would suddenly reappear. But alas, she did not. At least not in her physical form.
She appears daily, however, in my memories. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of her, though my thoughts are less focused on the last year of her life and the difficulties she had and are more focused on better times. I remember her lessons and advice, some as unwanted as I'm sure my own is to my children. Others more welcome as I struggled with something that I knew she would have the solution to.
I remember her singing, especially I Just Called To Say I Love You by Stevie Wonder, which she would sing every time she called and spoke to Russell. I had wanted to play it at the unveiling, but Bruce thought it was hokey. So, couldn't resist here.
And I remember one of her last pieces of advice...which came in the form of a poem she brought home a few years ago from a friend's funeral. Apparently the poem has been shared at many a funeral, since a Google search turns up more than 2 million results for it. She told me she liked the message: that the living should go on living.
Don't grieve for me, from pain I'm free
I'm following the path
God has laid you see.
I took his hand when I heard his call,
I turned around and left it all.
I could not stay for another day,
To laugh, to love, to work, or play.
Task left undone must stay that way
I found peace on a sunny day.
If my parting has left a void
Then veil it now with remembered joys.
A family shared, a laugh, a kiss
Oh yes, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow.
I wish for you sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full; I savored much
Good family, good times
A loved one's touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and peace to thee
God wanted me now
From pain I'm free.
So yesterday, we dedicated a footstone in honor of my mother, Garie Solomon Millman.
May we think of her tenderly and revere her memory. May we devote ourselves wholeheartedly to our chosen tasks for her sake. Thus will our beloved mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend, be recalled...and live every day.
And even though she has left our midst, we know she will never leave our hearts, where her memory will endure as a blessing forever.