Picture this, it’s April 25th, 2014, you wake up in the morning, knowing you have to go to your mamas funeral that day and you look out and all you see is white………snow everywhere!
I woke up the morning of my moms funeral to see white everywhere. I had slept on the couch, as after breast cancer surgery, that was the most comfortable for me since I could only lay on my back. Then I turned around to see my sister in the kitchen……..no power. All the power was out on all of her street. I could not believe it at first and then I thought……..yep, of course. My mama wanted to make sure everyone remembered the day of her funeral, so she had to go out with a huge snowstorm and a big bang! At least that gave us all something to smile about and laugh a bit, which we seem to do in hard situations.
If you don’t have a sense of humour about things, you will have a very hard life, that’s what I think anyways, You have to be able to laugh at yourself and situations and find something good and something funny in all of it, or life is just too darn hard.
We found out that there was power at the funeral home, and church so we just got up, my nephew Max drove to Tim Hortons for coffee and tea for everyone and we fixed ourselves up the best we could and waited for the limos to come and get us and bring us to the funeral home. Good thing my Aunty Adele and Uncle Walter were up for the funeral with their motor home so that we could use their plug ins to fix our hair a bit!
We went to the funeral home, where we would say our last good byes and the pallbearers would be there as well. I really still didn’t want to deal with it or see her – it was like I was stalling the inevitable.
So off we went in the limos and the snow filled streets to the church. We stood in the lobby as we waited for the pallbearers to bring in her coffin. I was fine until the coffin went in front of me and I looked in the church to see every pew filled with faces…..family, friends, and loved ones. Then I could not stop crying. I couldn’t even look up because I just could not see anyones face. My brother Danny grabbed my hand and held it tight.
All the way up the aisle to the front pew I looked down, trying to stop myself from crying. I just couldn’t believe where I was and what was happening. I kept wondering why I couldn’t have done this last night or this morning in private! It was a point where it just all seemed like it was too much. Surgery, traveling alone, power outage, funeral………too many things at once and my heart and mind were exhausted.
Having my brother hold my hand through it all really helped. Then I had to stop and remember my husband Aaron telling me that it’s okay to cry and to just be me. He told me he wanted me to go there and be shining beacon light to others. It’s amazing what he sees in me and my heart – he really is an amazing man.
Needless to say, I did get through it, because I was not alone, I never am, I always have God with me. We went downstairs right after for lunch where I spent the whole time talking to people and hugging them and really enjoying seeing so much family. But just before that my mom wanted her grandchildren and godchildren to put carnations on her coffin – her favourite flower. There we were in the blowing cold snow saying a final good bye outside and again shaking our heads and thinking……yes Mama Gemma, we won’t forget this day.