Sunday, March 3, 2013
Lessons From a Life Well Lived
My brother, some of my cousins, and I were pallbearers for the funeral on Friday. I was really happy to have a part in the funeral and this job created an amazing opportunity for us. After the funeral service all the pallbearers rode with my Grandma to the cemetery so we would be ready to carry the casket to the burial sight. During the drive my Grandma told us all stories of my Grandpa and of our parents when they were young. Stories that I hadn't heard before, one was this: When my Grandpa was a boy his family lived in Carbon County, during the summers he and his sister would stay with a friend for a week or so in the next town over. My Grandpa and his sister, Clarice, would walk, following the train tracks, the whole way to theirs friends home. My Grandpa was in charge of carrying the suitcase full of the clothes they would need for the week. Grandpa would dawdle along and his sister would end up going on ahead of him. When they reached their destination it was discovered that none of Clarice's clothes were in the suitcase, Grandpa had taken them out one by one and discarded them along the tracks, but left his clothes alone. The drive to the cemetery took us past BYU campus and Grandma told us that Grandpa, an electrician, had been in charge of all the electrical work for several of the buildings on campus. Grandma also told us of slippery sliding in her back yard. My Grandparents yard has this amazing hill that is perfect for the slip -n-slide. As kids, my cousins and brother and I spent many summers sliding down that hill on huge sheets of plastic our dad's would get for us. Apparently, us grand-kids didn't invent that activity, our parents had been doing long before. Grandma said she about 40 years old and was out on the slippery slide with her kids. She told us that her neighbor was looking out her bedroom window at my Grandma sliding down the hill with her kids and asked her husband what he thought of a grown women slippery sliding. He said it looked like fun and she replied, "go get my suit". Grandma said that now as she looks back on that experience, 40 seemed so very young. I thought about my own life as a mother, I am closer to 40 than I am to 20 and I hope at that age I am still getting down and playing with my kids. The drive to the cemetery also took us right past Grandma and Grandpas house. There is a park right across the street from their house and as we passed Grandma said, "For years the only thing up that flag pole was my boys. I don't know how they did it, but everyone of them managed to shimmy themselves up to the top." Being in the car with my brother, cousins, and Grandma, seems like such a huge gift. Something so special that I got to experience. I will remember that forever, and I am so thankful I was there.
Last of all, this experience has renewed my gratitude for my faith. I am so grateful for the things I know to be true, I know where my Grandfather is and how happy he must be. I know I will see him again. I am so grateful for the spirit that guides me in this life, that comforts me in times of sorrow. I love my family, every single one of them and I am grateful for the lessons I have been able to learn this week. I hope to become an old granny, telling my grand kids awesome stories and seeing the life I have lived spread out before me.