One day this week I was in one of our little shops in town and saw an old friend that I hadn't seen in a few years. I asked how she was and we had a long conversation right on the corner of the street in a bit of drizzle. My hair crinkles tighter in drizzle and when later I was talking with my daughter she said something about my frizzled hair, which told her that I had been out and about, and I told her where I'd been and who I saw. (We still have icy spots from the snow storm so I haven't been out much in the past week. Daughter worries when I drive in icy weather - so do I )
Daughter and I had been talking about funerals for some reason recently -- me how much I didn't like them -- but she said funerals or memorials are necessary for the family and friends left behind. I have always said I wanted my ashes taken to the top of the mountain where I grew up and then quietly tossed so I could fly with the wind and the birds and the clouds over the land I so loved.
So after telling her about the friend I saw, she said, "You know, all those friends you've accumulated over the years won't fit on your mountain. There are too many of them. You have local friends, you have all those thousands of students you keep contact with, you have teacher friends, you have Facebook friends, you have your first day of school friends, you have high school friends, college friends, Louisville friends, your on line friends, your writing friends, your art friends, and then you have your little bitty family; you've kept every single friend you ever had."
"Wow," I said. "Wow!" That's a lot of friends for an old lady who really doesn't get out much. So I said something like I was fortunate, lucky, to have a lot of friends, but being this old had a lot to do with it.
And she -- my highly intuitive daughter -- said: "Mom, you don't have friends because you are old, you have friends because you are THE best listener."
Filled my heart right up, she did!! I reckon I might have to make plans for two mountains when I fly away.
Somehow after that conversation, this quote fell into my lap. Maybe it's good to be a listener and not so much a talker.
My song too, it was sung for my grandmother and both my parents, along with Amazing Grace. Probably for my other grandparents too, but I was too foolish then to remember. I'm mostly the Fly Away one though; I've been accused of flying away in my mind when I don't want to listen anymore.
I've just always thought that no matter the person, he is just as important in the great scheme of things as I am and I tried to treat everybody that way. I don't know that it's love, but it is a form of caring.
I dunno. This is a very deep subject.
But if we show kindness to someone, chances are he isn't going to turn around and knock us flat. It's just not always easy to take that first step of kindness.
I've been fortunate with people and friendships; I learned a lot about people when I was teaching. Mostly I guess I just like people and that seems to work both ways. But I really really don't care much for funerals.
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger Wrightstown, New Jersey JBsBirdsandMore.com
You are an amazing person Sharon. So easy to love and so very very caring. I cherish our friendship and after reading your posts about funerals, I am sure I like you even more. I am taking the rest of this statement to you privately so I do not offend anyone with my thoughts regarding funerals and weddings.
Sharon, I agree with you on funerals. Bob and I have both opted for cremation, no funeral and a request that our family and friends remember us as we were.
If they need a gathering for closure, we hope they will choose to have a family reunion and share family antidotes with their children and enjoy the day. That way, instead of tears, they can make our grand children laugh at things like...Grandma doing the Funky Chicken or Grandpa saying "Bah, Humbug" as he handed out Christmas presents with a twinkle in his eye.