Mark and George and Alice and I headed to Lineville today for Mr. McKay's funeral. The four of us haven't spent that much time together - just the four of us - in a LOOOONG time. The 1 hour and 44 minute trip (each way) flew by quickly as we talked about all sorts of things - from supper club menus and decorations to our kids and school. We also laughed a lot - even at some inappropriate gas comments. I won't explain!
Isn't that the way it is? Something like death occurs and we slow down for just a little while and live life. We laugh. We hug others. We tell people that we love them. Why don't we do that more often? Why do we get in such a hurry and forget? Mark made a comment as we sat in traffic this afternoon to the effect of "these people are evidently not in as much of a hurry as I am." Isn't that true?
Since Mark and George were pallbearers, we had to arrive fairly early at the funeral home. We all visited with Mrs. McKay. We were introduced to folks we didn't know. Alice and I looked at every picture in that funeral home - they had about a 100 pictures of different churches. We assume those are the churches who make use of the funeral home. Every once in a while we would hear Mark or George laugh or speak loudly - I believe they visited with just about everyone there. As we met new folks, they would say, "y'all are the Elliotts?? - we've heard so much about you." I have to chuckle about that because we evidently make a splash wherever we go :-)
The service was held in a small chapel and Alice and I were wedged into a row with four seats . . .with two "strangers." As so often happens in a small town, the lady leaned over and started a conversation and asked if we were family. I said, "no ma'am. Our husbands are pall bearers." She immediately said, "the Elliotts?" I answered with yes ma'am . . .and you won't be able to miss them because they are identical twins." When the pall bearers processed in (which I had never seen done before), she leaned over and said, "I couldn't miss them!!"
I really wanted to snap a photo of Mark and George and Mrs. McKay but there never seemed to be just the right moment but I did snap a few photos in the cemetery. The day started out very cloudy but blue sky appeared . . .the cloud formations were amazing all day! I loved the barren trees with no leaves against the crazy sky as a backdrop for the cemetery.
There were lots of old tombstones from the 1800's -- 1828!!
There were lots of simple crosses - no names on many of them but Mark found a whole row of Harris people - we even found a Mary Harris. It was fascinating to walk around and read the names (many were very unusual) and see the dates of birth and death.
Just in the time we were at the cemetery (which was an hour or so), more blue skies appeared.
Back to the laughter . . .it was a small cemetery at Black's Creek Methodist Church so we were literally parked in two lines bumper to bumper (Mark's big old pick up truck!!). We had to wait a while until everyone was ready to leave so that everyone could pull out of the cemetery at the same time. We got in the car . . .had to roll the windows down to talk to a couple more folks . . .more laughter . . .and I said, "I need to tinkle. I need a diet pepsi. I need a snack." Those who know me well will know that that sounds like a typical sentence out of my mouth.
Mark took us to the gas station in Ashland. We were LIVING BIG today!! We used the facilities (I'm so polite - I was not that polite in the car!). We bought our lunch (this was about 3:25 in the afternoon) . . .Mark had a pay day candy bar and green tea; I had a DIET PEPSI and cheese-its; Alice had a diet coke (I think) and Chex Mix . . .and George had a turkey and cheese sandwich -- people - it was a sandwich in a wrapper in the gas station. . .with no expiration date! We were living big today! More laughter! We were parked right by the courthouse so Mark said "take a picture of that" and I did. Simple.
We are sad for Mrs. McKay. She is grieving and will continue to grieve. We are celebrating for Mr. McKay - he is no longer in pain. We are remembering - today someone mentioned how Mr. McKay paid his way through college . . .and I could hear his voice telling us the story about selling watermelons to put himself through college!!!
Today we lived life. We loved. We laughed. We remembered. We were sad yet happy. We were together. We hugged. We smiled. Today we LIVED BIG!
What about the taxes? The title just needed something else, right? Mark did tell me to download Turbo Tax.
Love, Laughter, Death . . . .LIFE! (and taxes)