The chapel was deathly still. The people had all filed out and were now sitting in their cars outside, motors running, lights on, and at the ready - waiting to join the funeral procession that would lead them to my mother's final destination...a tranquil Resting Place on the outskirts of town.
Inside, I stood alone at my mother's open casket. The mourners and flowers were gone, but the scent of freshly cut flowers still lingered in the air as I said my last farewells to my mother, and then thanked the attendants for their kindness and patience in giving me a couple extra minutes alone with my mother, before they closed the casket for the last time.
Five minutes later the procession rolled out of the driveway and into the noonday traffic.
As the limousine slowly wended it's way through the city streets on it's way to the edge of town, I actually smiled as I thought what Mother would say if she knew she was being treated like Royalty today. I could almost hear her now..."
"You mean this great big, black, shiny limousine is for me? Me? just a little five-foot-two "nobody" being chauffeured across town with dozens of automobiles following with lights on, and perfect strangers pulling over to the curb or the side of the highway, and sitting there motionless while my whole funeral parade passes through red lights and stop signs undisturbed? My Goodness! What unbelievable respect my co-earthlings are showing me today...and to think I've always thought of myself as a "nobody" all these years."
Just for a moment I could picture Mother with a twinkle in her eye, just before her beautiful blue eyes glistened over with tender, grateful tears. Yes, it might completely blow her mind, but secretly, down deep...I think she would have been pleased.
Mother was mistaken, of course, to think she was nothing but a statistic in the Census Bureau, for my brother and I wouldn't have made it if it hadn't been for her. She was our everything! Our alarm clock in the morning and our curfew at night, our chef, chauffeur, lunch box maker, hurt soother, band-aid fixer, prayer listener, bath supervisor, disciplinarian, button-sewer, homework overseer and taught us right from wrong', and much, much more...so what would you call somebody like that? The most Noble title given to any creation on earth..."Mother."
Even after flying the coop and becoming adults, mother was still just a phone call away; for counselling, advice, ear bending, shoulder crying, encouragement, confidant, problem solver and always there for us...that was, of course, until today. But now everything has changed.
As I stood at the supposedly tranquil gravesite with family, friends and neighbors, I could smell the scent of freshly turned sod beneath the facade of wall to wall flowers...and I began my very first day, for the rest of my life, missing my Mother.
May she Rest in Peace.
Just A Statement of Fact:
You may have many jobs, many different cars, many friends and acquaintances in your lifetime, but you'll only have one mother.
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