Saturday, August 25, 2007

Cool Woman, Hot Day

Today I had the privilege of attending a funeral for a friend of mine who died this week. She is the same person whom I visited last week in Atlanta. I am so thankful that I went last Saturday to see her in her final hours. Her husband told me later that the prayers we offered up were heard. It just reminds me again that God is indeed listening.

On a lighter note, I made several observations as I reveled in the final celebration of my friend's life:
  • All the women had cruel shoes. When we arrived at her house for the pre-funeral gathering (or "to pay our respects" as it is called in the South), every woman had her shoes off and were putting off as long as possible the moment when the toe crushers were donned in the name of fashion.
  • There were hats. One of the things I admire is that some African American women wear really great hats.
  • There was great food in the kitchen. Homemade. None of that fast food or pre-made cakes from the grocery store. People took time to make some home cooked goodies.
  • We got to ride in a real funeral procession, complete with a policeman, headlights, and bright orange hang tags to put on our rear view mirrors with the word "FUNERAL" in bold letters. People actually pulled off to the side to let us by. Old time reverence.
  • There was a little bit of the "I was really closer to her than you were" game that is often played at funerals as people jockeyed for positions on the status of their bloodline to my friend.
  • The music was rocking! People hollered out the refrains, swayed in time, and unabashedly sang with gusto. It made me think just for a few minutes about changing churches.
  • Because the church was so hot due to the overwhelming number of folks that showed up, the fans were pulled out. No, not the electric kind, but the old timey hand-powered church fans with advertisements on the back. Way cool.
  • The program was unlike any other I had ever seen! There were pictures of my friend, her husband and her children throughout her life. Cute pictures of changing hairstyles, getting married, being pregnant. Hugs and smiles all around. This one is a keeper.
  • The highlight was when a woman got up and talked about her husband dying last year. My friend, despite her declining health was there to help her grieve. She said she got a letter from my friend which said, "My husband and I will be there to help you with anything. PS: Stay away from my husband." We could all picture my friend saying that with a twinkle in her eye. It was really funny and showed my friend's sense of humor that will surely be missed.
  • The eulogies, and there were a lot of them, were wonderful and everybody added different pieces that showed us all that we are joined by our love for our dear, departed sister/friend/wife/mother/daughter/all around great human being.
It was worth showing up on a hot day for a cool woman.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I feel like I was there! I was in spirit as you know.
I am so glad you were able to go and that you posted such a warm report.
Thanks, dear heart!