Remembering Marcia, thanking her kids!

We’ve all seen it and heard about it. Perhaps you’ve been a part of it. 

An elderly parent dies, and before the surviving kids can even think about fighting over who will get what, decisions must be made about a memorial service. Which funeral director? Where will it be held? Who will preside? Who will sing? Which family members should share stories? Sometimes a mini-family feud. 

It’s all on my mind today. We lost Marcia exactly one year ago. 

As a little boy, the funeral service confused me. I must confess that I hated to go. I had been taught in Sunday School that heaven was a wonderful place, that there would be no more sickness, death or tears, and everyone would be happy. There was no evidence of that in a funeral service. The funeral cars were black, the people wore black, the casket was rolled to the front of the sanctuary, the preacher somberly quoted Bible verses, people wept, the body was lowered into a grave and we all went home. 

Today, I pay tribute to our four wonderful kids for whom Marcia was a special mom. Their dad owned the local radio station, was active as a church musician, and thought it was important to be busy every night of the week while they were growing up. 

Well, when their mother died, these four loving family members decided that a normal service was not in the cards. 

Marcia was 85 when she rode that chariot to the promised land. Had she lived, we would have celebrated 65 years of marriage later that year. This was no ordinary woman. In addition to being a loving mother and wife, she was an amazing pioneer: first woman elder in her church classis, first woman Sunday School Superintendent and first Parish Nurse in her church. In her community, she was one of the very early certified hospice nurses. 

Marcia had been failing for the past year, and neither her mind nor her body wanted to continue any longer. As a result, most of our grieving had taken place much earlier. Now it was time for relief and celebration. A hall was rented. Exhibits were created showing their mom’s creativity in hobbies and compassion in her work. A former pastor gave the eulogy/homily. 

Then, a toast, (gasp) as more than 100 people tossed back a tiny glass of Scotch and ginger ale, Marcia’s favorite drink! 

A momentous celebration! One of a kind! A precious memory! Created by Cindy, Greg, Sue and Matthew. They brighten my life every day. 

Thank you, kids! 

RIP, Sweetie. I’ll see you soon!






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