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Saturday, November 6, 2010

No Tears (or itchy watery eyes) In Heaven


I went to a funeral today. Lisa, my sister's step daughter lost her long, hard fought battle with cancer.

As I sat there listening to the typically Baptist sermon, I started thinking about the flowers. The altar was covered with easel sprays, the kind you only see at funerals and horse races. How is it possible to make something as beautiful as flowers look so depressing?

My first experience with funeral flowers came when I was six and my grandfather died. Whenever I caught an adult crying, they would start telling me about how Grandpa was in heaven with Jesus and the angels. But everyone was terribly sad about it. I was walking around the living room smelling the flowers and suddenly came face to face with my grandpa. That's how I learned the tradition of old East Texas families keeping the body in the home. Chrysanthemums made me feel sad and ill at the same time for years after that.

When Lauren died, our house was so full of flowers I couldn't breath. I also couldn't stand to see them die, but just like all living things, they did.

I was thinking today during that funeral, when I die, I would like people to send balloons instead of flowers. I think they would be a more accurate depiction of the party I will be attending. After the funeral, my loved ones could give some balloons to the children. The rest, they could release and watch them float up to heaven just like my happy soul.

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A wife, mother, and spoiler of small dogs, I grew up in a small West Texas town, with my eyes full of sand, and my heart full of joy.


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