Family Thoughts20 Feb 2006 10:56 pm

A bitter winter wind, blows across the mist covered cemetary. The green tent of the funeral home stands guard over the freshly turned earth. A row of oak and hickory trees marks the edge of the cemetary.  Along the fence, a dogwood, has begun to bloom, tricked by the recent warm weather into an early arrival. Winter, in its icy grip, can still show its power; the temperatures now in the low thirties. Yet, the bleakness of this day, and the solemn procession of the mourners are betrayed by the warmth of the memories of this place.

The old country church, with the gravel parking lot stands watch, just as it has done for years. We have visited this place often; more often than we would wish. We came to remember Uncle Edward, and Mammaw Butler.  Some call it the old home place. Years have passed, and most have moved away, yet still we come together on sad occasions, and we see faces that remind us that, although we may leave this place, this place will never leave us.

As I pass Mammaw’s tombstone, a tear escapes my eyes, not in sorrow or in loss, but a tear of thanksgiving, for having known this remarkable woman. I take a rough count of the headstones as I walk, maybe 80, maybe 100 people. Many of these people are members of the family.

I turn and look at the procession. I see the faces of my cousins, my aunts, and close family friends. And while we came today to mourn a loss, we also glory in the reunion of the family. My cousin Walter, whose sister we now grieve, put it best in his remarks: We thank God for this place, and for this family and we should seek to enjoy our time together and be happy.

And as the rain began to fall harder, and the funeral broke up, I smiled and thanked God for this old home place.

Trackback this Post | Feed on comments to this Post

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.