03 February 2010

Remembering Pat

An elderly friend of mine recently passed away and today was her funeral.

She was a lovely person. She was in charge of the church choir I sang in as a uni student. She was warm and welcoming, and always made me feel comfortable even though I was the youngest in the group by almost 40 years. I moved away after finishing uni and so left the choir. She and the rest of the choir sang at my wedding but in the past five years I only saw her a few times when I went back to visit. She always greeted me with a hug, a kiss and a big smile.

This morning was her funeral and the choir got back together to sing for her one last time.

The first thing I noticed when I arrived this morning was the number of people there: the church was full. It was as I had expected. She had so many friends as well as children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren all there.

When I got there the others had saved me my old spot up the front near the microphone. It felt so familiar but two things were very different: Pat wasn't there and my MissyMoos were.

I didn't really have a chance to take things in and reflect at the time because I was too preoccupied with keeping the girls from acting up in the hot church. Adding to my anxiousness was the thought that the mic might pick up every little whinge or grizzle. There were a few of those and, of course, MissyMoo1 just had to go to the toilet in the middle of the service.

A bit later on in the day, I got a chance to sit and remember. I read the order of ceremonies booklet (which has seen better days, as MissyMoo2 adopted it as her new toy during the service and slobbered all over it - the teething rings I brought with us weren't nearly as interesting) and got a bit sad.

It might sound a little morbid, but then I got to thinking about how I want to be remembered. I figure, if at the end of my time here I'm loved by family and friends, remembered fondly and can come close to filling a church, I'll have done well.

I'll miss you, Pat, but I know you're in a better place.


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