Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A final gift

Christmas-Eve-Angel-Image-GraphicsFairy-1024x1024The radio woke us up this morning with news that with the wind chill the temps are dropping down to -37C today. They weren't exaggerating. The wind whipped the lose snow around, stinging cheeks and noses. Tears streamed down my face walking to and from the car. I was certain at one point that my eyeballs were freezing. As we were driving from place to place I could see that the trees and other plants were still imprisoned in their icy armour.

Zio Matteo's funeral was this morning, at the same church that Carm and I got married in over 25 years ago. During the service I glanced around the church building and its artwork, trying to distract myself from the visits of funerals past and future. I wasn't keen on visiting with these ghosts. Not today.

I remembered the minister at my Aunt Jean's funeral telling us that the gathering of friends and family, some from great distances, was the final gift from my departed Aunt. She reminded us to take the time to re-establish our relationships with those we hadn't seen for a while.  The wise words from the minister changed my views on funerals and the gatherings that happen around them. At the lunch after the internment, we made sure to spend time with Carm's cousins from Toronto, hopefully renewing those relationships. We visited with Aunts and Uncles that are only seen at weddings and funerals. It sounds strange to say, but I had a good time at this funeral.

The table is a meeting place, a gathering ground, the source of sustenance and nourishment, festivity, safety, and satisfaction. A person cooking is a person giving: Even the simplest food is a gift. ~Laurie Colwin