My feet were heavy walking into the funeral home. My eyes still blurred by tears. My heart aching. It was the gathering I expected. Small, quiet, lots of smokers gathered outside prior to the service. At one point the preacher invited those gathered to share memories of Nancy.
God, the laughter, the tears, the agreements, the surprises. People she'd known her entire life learned something about her today. Others, like her three very aloof brothers, realized the sister they had shunned for years had earned the respect and love of countless people. Her humble life, lived without great prestige or financial gain, was rich in wisdom, benevolence and acceptance.
Her hobby was home remodeling and we all had a laugh as people talked about stopping by to see her and wondering where the entrance was now! Or the kitchen. Or the dining area. Or the half bath on the main level. On our way home I wondered aloud if the back porch was still there and her smoking chair with its paisley upholstery; all done by Nancy. Sweetie said we'd have to check that out when we stop by to visit her husband.
And speaking of him - he apologized for not calling me. It brought us both to tears as I told him I was feeling guilty for not calling more often or stopping in to see them. He said, "Oh no! She was feeling guilty that we hadn't been out to see the two of you in your new home. It's one of the last things she mentioned before her stroke."
In a strange way this was a consolation to both of us.
And thank you all for your words of comfort. I have very few friends and seldom see anyone. We live simply and quietly and leave here only for a specific purpose: groceries, gas, doctor appointments. We're not joiners or groupies of any kind and couldn't afford to drive around much anyway. And though we think of people and sometimes talk to them on the phone or email, the pool of friendships/relatives is very small. This year between the two of us we've lost four people - three since we moved here in June. Our world is getting smaller and I find myself wondering...will anyone notice if we're not here?