It happened again last night as I was shutting down Peter's computer, which seemed to be taking a bit of time. As it was slowly closing down, I, for some unknown reason, thought "going, going, going...gone " and, although you may find this hard to believe, I thought of my mother's funeral and a smile, perhaps a giggle crossed my face. The sad memories have now past, and only the "good things" come to mind. This was the "good thing" that came from a very sad time. So, here is the story.
Grandma or my mom died 14 years ago of a heart attack, which left all of us in a state of shock and grief. Sara was in the ninth grade at the time, Mike in sixth, and Peter would have been in second grade and eight years old. Remember, although Peter was eight, he looked like a four year old and acted like one also. I remember he sat on my lap through the service..so size wise... small.
Peter, however, was the one that just when your heart was breaking added that light in the dark, that was so needed at such a sad time. At the very tiny funeral home in Beaver Dam, pint sized Peter with his very high pitched voice greeted those in attendance at the door and, as I was told, said, "Are you here to see my Grandma...she went to heaven" Very unassuming, yet so powerful!
The next day, if you can imagine an extremely large cathedral like church with amazing stained glass, is where we were holding the funeral services. Wrapping up the last part of the wake, previous to the service, my brothers, sister and I were standing in the front near my mom's casket. Dennis. my very astute cousin, noticed Peter had been missing for awhile, and came up and asked the question..has anyone seen Peter? (Common question during Peter's childhood). We agreed, he had been gone for awhile. At that point, we all simultaneously looked towards the balcony. With sunlight streaming through the breathtaking stained glass window located in the balcony, was a little boy skipping across it's width. We gasped, we looked at each other, and you know that laughter that replaces the heartache...all of us broke out into a silent roar, we were in church after all. We quite never knew what the folks gathered in the pews were thinking...I do not think we cared. It was just what we needed to keep on going.
Gathering up Peter, we than had to partake in what I believe is a somewhat barbaric experience, and that is the closing of the casket. We were ushered to the back of the church, the doors were closed so we could not see, and we stood there in utter silence. Until Peter smashed that tiny little face of his into the crack of the door and watched the whole thing. And what we heard, was going, going, going, GONE! Again, tears running down our cheeks, we could not help but find the humor in this little event. Even the very somber minister, was holding back the laughter.
My mom left us with many, so many good memories. And when it came to helping with Peter, she was a saint. Somehow, I know she was watching down, laughing with us, for it was Peter during those dark days that brought us the laughter through the tears.