I know you said if someone wanted to talk to you they could write it down and leave it under their pillow and you would read it. But, I'm guessing that if I write to you on your blog you'll read it too! I miss not being able to check the blog to see what your latest happenings are. Whether a well described hospital procedure or just what book you were reading, I always wanted to know what you were doing. But, now your stories have stopped but as life would have it, ours continue. So I thought I would tell you a story about the few days we spent saying goodbye to you.
When I looked at the map and saw the location of the funeral home it was weird because I cannot count how many times I have driven by there over the years. And, now I had to enter through those very doors myself to see you Beautiful Sam.
Not wanting to miss a moment we arrived right at the beginning of your wake. I watched in amazement as the hours ticked by and your Mom, Dad, Alex, Carisa and Tony (Mr. Secretary that is!) stood in line to greet the hundreds of people who filed by. Honestly, I couldn't really tell who was comforting who because your parents stood long and tall at a time where they most likely wanted to crumble to the floor in a heap and just sob. Your friends all came too. They mingled around with this lost look and deep sadness on their faces trying their best to comfort each other. They went from picture board to picture board looking at all the photograph's that were taken throughout your life. By the way, I don't think it's possible for you to take a bad picture! You looked beautiful in all of them!
On Saturday we woke up to the most beautiful, sunny and oddly warm November day. We went to the church and waited the arrival of you and your family. I sat in the seat next to the isle anxiously waiting and from time to time nervously turning around like a little kid wanting to see what was going on in the back of the church. Finally I could see through the doors that you and your family had arrived. Then I turned around to face the front when suddenly as if out of know where this very soft but strong gentle breeze came whooshing up the isle. All the little reserved seating signs flittered up and down. I knew at that moment you had entered the church! No doubt a choir of angels sent ahead to clear the way!
You know, I haven't been to a lot of funerals in my life Sam, but I have been to a lot of masses! Never in my life have I ever seen a priest cry while speaking! I think in that moment Father Matt said it all! It went right to my heart and spoke to how much you touched everyone! Then Alex spoke. She spoke with the grace and poise of a young woman beyond her years in honor of you, her dear sister. And, Carisa too had the courage to get up in front of hundreds of people. She knows not of her own beauty and elegances. And then your dear friends, Trisha, Carly, Jenna and Vanessa. Loyal to the end and no doubt beyond.
At the end of the service everyone filed quietly out of the church and just stood around out in front like they wanted to hold on to the moment. Many of them hugged and comforted each other. Finally people started to go to their cars to line up for the procession to the cemetery. I don't think the people sitting at red lights were happy when your procession came by! It was sooo long! I'm not sure but I'd guess at least a mile worth of cars!
We finally arrived at the cemetery and when I got out of the car I heard something that seemed so out of place that it took me a minute to fully identify what it was...the sound of a wind-chime tingling softly in the wind. I looked around to try and find where it was located but I never did find it. And, when we stood by your side at your site I could no longer hear it. I don't know how things work in the world you now reside in but I wouldn't put it past you to make that chime tingle in the breeze at that moment to sooth our broken hearts.
Well, Sam I've probably gone on too long and I know that this is written not for you as much as it is for me. Our lives have been profoundly touched by you and now profoundly altered by your leaving. To say that we miss you is an understatement. Sometimes words really aren't enough to express what a heart holds. But, I want to thank you Sam for all the love. Thank you for showing all of us what true strength really looks like. And, thank you for letting us in on your very personal journey! A quote from the book The Profit says, "When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."
As always, all my love to you Beautiful Sam and to Chris, Dolly,
Alex, Carisa and Tony.