My stomach cleared up fine yesterday in time for the service and the service went pretty well. It turned out that I was the...well, what would you call it? The officiant? I don't know. But Denise, Billy's mama, had given me a very clear script (she is the most organized woman I know and could run the world with one hand tied behind her back if someone just had the sense to give her the opportunity) and so I didn't really have to think much and it was a sorrowful and yet, joyful gathering, all at the same time. Lots of people shared good stories about MawMaw and PawPaw too and we all agreed that you couldn't mention one without the other and there was laughter through tears, as it should be. One of my favorite stories was one Denise told about how, after MawMaw and PawPaw's house in Kentucky was burnt down she and her mama and daddy got in the van and drove up there on an Easter Sunday. It had been arson and the person who'd done it had already been arrested and was in jail. Now it was a well-known fact that MawMaw kept a gun in her purse (she had a permit, y'all!) and so on the way up to Kentucky, Denise said, "Mama, we don't want anyone being shot. You do not have that gun in your purse do you?"
"Of course not!" MawMaw said. "It's under my seat."
No one was shot.
At one point while I was talking a damn piece of ceiling tile fell right out of the ceiling a few feet from my head and hit a lamp. I would not have been too surprised if we had been in a church but no, we were in a funeral home. I immediately said something like, "Well, I guess MawMaw would just like me to shut up now so I will."
I was so proud of Billy. Somehow he managed to get up and talk about his grandparents and what he said was the most profound truth of all which was that his grandparents were so full of love for him that whoever he brought around whom he loved, they immediately accepted and loved as part of the family. I myself am under that umbrella as are all of my children and my husband, too.
They had a sort of grace that I've never quite encountered before and it lives on in Denise, Billy and Shayla, Billy's sister Kelly and her man, Jesse. And maybe (hopefully) in all of us. Pure unconditional love. We all talk about it but we rarely see it close-up and pure.
We drove all the way out to Sumatra, Florida to the cemetery. The backend of nowhere. I swear to you. But such a beautiful little place under oak trees and pine trees and one fine magnolia.
I love the idea of that beautiful couple resting together under those trees with the birds they loved singing overhead, the animals of the woods snuffling around when no one is there but the peaceful dead.
As we drove, I started feeling sort of bad again. Achy. But the graveside ceremony was short and sweet and then Mr. Moon and Lily and I along with Hank and our friend Mark, stopped at a little place to eat some lunch. I got a salad and some crackers and that was fine and then the ride home seemed interminable. I thought I had gotten stuck in some sort of painful purgatory and when we finally got home and I could take some Ibuprofen and take my clothes off and get in the bed, I thought I'd die from the relief. I slept for two hours, got up, ate some soup and a cheese sandwich, went back to bed and slept for another ten hours.I am still achy today and slow as hell but I'm better.
I feel like I just might live.
And I really don't have much to say about Mother's Day. I do not know why but I don't. I have absolutely no desire to celebrate and maybe part of that is because I'm sick but I think mostly it's because I know how much I love my kids and I know how much they love me and why make a big deal out of it? To be honest, I feel vastly relieved that I am not feeling guilty about not doing more for my own mother on Mother's Day which I do not have to do anymore because she is not alive so there you go. Hank's coming out later and I've spoken to three of my kids and the other one will be calling later, I feel sure. I've gotten messages from two beloveds whom I did not give birth to but who call me Mom. I've got my cat-child to love, my chicken-babies to love and my man stopped and picked me two more magnolia blooms yesterday.
Riches and more riches and I don't need any cards, thank you very much.
Speaking of chicken babies, we opened the door to the big outside for ours today. They are taking it very cautiously, as well they should.
Miss Butterscotch was the first one to step toe outside. And as soon as we opened that door, who should show up on top of the Martin houses?
Can you see that hawk?
Mr. Moon about dislocated his shoulder chunking a piece of wood at him and yelled, "Don't you eat my babies!" And maybe I should not have let them out (Mr. Moon was not real happy about it) but my Chicken Mother instinct tells me it's time. These chickens need to learn to be real chickens, scratching for their feed. And they will.
So. That's the news from Lloyd. I am not dead and I might even start packing today. I sure need to. Other than that, my entire goal for the day is to wash my sheets. I can probably manage that. And then when they are back on the bed, to take a nap with Maurice. Mr. Moon has come around to this cat entirely. She is earning his affection and respect with her calm and curious nature. Let's face it- we like babies around here. We are both, in our ways, nurturers.
Happy Nurturing Day to every damn one of you because I know that every one of you does nurture something and someone and probably lots of somethings and someones, whether your blood babies or your furry babies or your neighbors or your coworkers or your sweethearts. And you nurture me too. Daily.
And in the spirit of that I say-
And in the spirit of that I say-
All Love...Ms. Old Mother Moon Who Thanks You Very Much Because We All Need Nurturing And Always Will