Monday, October 27, 2008
The Last Laugh
Linda was a well-loved woman. Not only did she deeply touch her family and friends, but an entire community. This was evident in every aspect of her funeral services. From the standing room only attendance, the vast array of floral and plant arrangements, the beautiful slide show and photo displays ... to the long trail of children along the path to the cemetery. Everyone loved her and felt a sincere sense of loss at her passing.
But the thing I loved most about Linda was her laughter! She was a funny person and more than willing to laugh at herself, which is a truly great quality in a person, I believe.
We all have our stories that we love to tell about her. My favorite is the time she said, “You know how the Pentagon is kinda shaped like an octagon?”
“Kind of like a pentagon?” my husband, one of her eight brothers, asked.
“Yeah!” she said, pleased that he knew what she was talking about!
And her “big” sister, Mary Kay (picture an extremely nice and less soap opera-y version of Erica Kane), liked to tell the story of Linda talking about the new condoms being built outside of town ... while sporting two different shoes at a wedding reception! (Linda laughed at that, too!)
Linda made us all laugh, and that’s something I will dearly miss.
Her services were extremely moving, to say the least. Linda loved watching her boys play football, so when the high school team walked into the church wearing their green and gold jerseys, I felt a deep pang in my heart. When the school choir sang Amazing Grace, I sobbed openly. The priest’s touching words captured Linda perfectly and all of us who loved her held each other closely while he spoke.
After the service, I walked outside with my sisters-in-law, while we watched our husbands lift their dear, dear sister into the hearse. Exactly when I thought I couldn’t take any more, my heart was breaking and I didn’t think I could hold myself up any longer, Linda whispered in my ear, “Look at Mary Kay....”
She was - in spite of her unbearable grief - beautiful in the bright October sun. She was wearing a crisp white blouse with a pretty red scarf around her neck, a black pencil skirt, one long, sleek black boot, and one long, sleek .... brown boot?!?!
So it was with laughter through tears that we said our final, sad farewell to our sweet sister and funny friend. Perhaps she didn’t always “get” the joke, perhaps she mixed up her words ... and her shoes ...
but on that day, her comic timing was pure genius! As always, she knew what I needed exactly when I needed it!
I love you, Linda!
The long trail home is lined with people who love you....