Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Last Respects Mean A Lot

This is a picture of my parents Sunday School class in front of East Point Christian Church where they raised me, my brother and sister. This photo is from the fifties when I wasn't even a twinkle in my parents eye yet.

I grew up in this church and remain friends with probably almost a hundred of them. It was awesome to grow up in East Point during the sixties and seventies. I'm almost fifty five now and have outlived not only both my parents but many of their friends as well.

Today I paid my last respects to the woman in this picture, one of my mother's dearest friends. That's me in the inner tube behind her and her son, who is also now in his fifties. Our two families always went on picnics together on Labor Day to "Seabrook" a man made lake. This is the woman who taught my mother how to drive a car when she was probably in her late twenties.

That's my mother on the other float with the jet black hair. At least she learned how to drive but never learned how to swim. I think this is the deepest water we ever saw her in and trust me those feet were touching the bottom.

I was a pretty lucky kid.

No, I was one of the luckiest kids on earth!

My sister and brother make fun of me for never missing a funeral  and have brought my daughter up the same way. My sons just waited to hear about it. I'm a talker and repeater. By the time I get through telling and retelling a story, you feel like you were there!

They call it "paying your last respects" because is.

You can wait until the next time you run into one of the remaining relatives in a grocery store or gas station and tell them how sorry you were then or you can show up now when that person needs to be hugged tightly by a friend who respected them enough to show up and make them smile as they say one last good bye to their own loved one.

It doesn't mean as much two months later in Kroger or when you're running late for work at the gas station and see them. You simply missed that last chance. (and I try not to)

It's nice to see these people who have been in your life since 1960. You share stories and catch up, sometime tear up and sometimes crack up in laughter. It's a celebration of life. It's not really a sad time.

It'd be a sad time if they were horrible people who were on the way to damnation in hell but they weren't and aren't.

They earned a prize of Heavenly reward and hit the Big Guy's lottery. Not a bad way to go if you ask me.

I got to see and hug my mother's other remaining best friend and swap info and numbers.

Yes the times are changing and charging ahead but never forget your past or the people who were in it.

 It's where you came from and part of the reason you are who you are, and lucky for me is a great thing. I had two great parents and still have a great brother and sister. All the other wonderful people I've met along the way are simply gravy...and I love me some gravy!

Til Next time, COTTON

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