Monday, January 21, 2013

Celebrations with all Kinds of Tears

This past weekend I shed all kinds of tears.  On Saturday evening, I went to visit my friend Renee', whose mother was in hospice. As I sat with Renee', we shed tears of sadness together. 

I cried with her when she got angry over a couple of things that happened that should never have happened at a time like this.

I cried as I said my goodbyes to her mother.  I cried as I drove home. 

Ten hours later, as I was fixing my coffee at breakfast, I got a text from Renee': "my mom passed this morning."  I cried into the skillet of eggs and heard my own tears sizzle in the pan. That was a first.
I almost giggled and then thought how ridiculous was my next thought:  Sizzling Tears would be a good name for a band.

What makes us go so quickly from the pangs of deep sorrow to chuckling about an invented band name,  from chuckling to embarrassment about it, from mourning  to reassurance that  a person's soul was safe in the arms of Jesus, back to grieving deeply--all in a matter of two seconds?

Tears of relief that Betty's suffering was over.
Tears of joy that she knew and loved Jesus and there was no doubt about her eternal destination.  Tears of thankfulness that God  had orchestrated the timing of Betty's homegoing while out-of-town family were here.  I mean, here was the scenario: last Sunday when her massive brain bleed occurred, Betty's doctor said he thought it would probably just be a few hours, a day at most, till she passed. So Renee's sister and a large contingent of family from the Midwest made arrangements to fly in immediately and plan a celebration of life ceremony for Sunday. They'd have to fly back on MLK Monday.

No one had any idea that Betty would still be alive on Saturday evening.

Renee' asked me if I thought it was weird that they would still go through with the service, regardless.  For a moment I thought yes, but didn't say anything till I had pondered it more. (Every ten years or so, I'm wise like that.)

I assured it that it would be perfectly fine and very healing for everyone to be together, sharing memories, sharing hope, sharing love, no matter what. 

And it was. The ceremony was upbeat, truly a celebration of a life of a woman who loved to laugh,  who had a "need to feed,"  who was remembered as being very grateful for the littlest things (like someone changing a lightbulb or setting her clock back at Daylight Savings Time or washing a window).  I laughed till I cried at the stories her family told because they  were getting so tickled from the microphone.  I could picture God saying,   "Keep going! Betty and I are up here rolling!"

Then, last night, as if a heavenly homegoing and a celebration of life weren't enough to make my tears flow, the RAVENS BEAT THE PATRIOTS WHICH MEANS WE ARE GOING TO THE SUPERBOWL !!  The air in Baltimore is absolutely electric !! There's  a sea of purple and black all around.  You can feel the excitement everywhere and see the smiles and it's just a beautiful thing to be part of .   I cried tears of joy with and for this great team!  Renee's daughter posted on Facebook that she was all over the place with her emotions.  Grandmom had been a huge Ravens fan; this was the first game without her, and they won big time.

Parties in heaven , parties on earth. It was all just too much to take in.


Danielle said...

We've shed our own tears this weekend with a story not unlike this one as we said goodbye to a wonderful grandmother to Josh, grandmother-in-law to me, and great-grandma to our children.

Beth Zimmerman said...

I've been having a rough day. Talked to hubby and walked away crying and broken (again). Then I was sitting at my desk hiccupping sobs and glumly scanning Facebook with tear filled eyes. I clicked on this video and was suddenly ... literally ... laughing out loud! I think those moments are graces, gifts from God to remind us to continue hoping!

Hope you can watch this. It's beyond precious and so funny!

Beth Zimmerman said...

If you can't see the whole video on FB this was my favorite part:

Beth Zimmerman said...

last comment (I promise) Are you on Facebook? I'm beth.s.zimmerman if you would like to be "friends."