Yesterday my family and I got together to inter our Mom's ashes alongside our Dad's in their vault @ the cemetery. We had put this off for a few months (and I admit this sounds unusual), because some were unable to stay long enough to do it after the funeral last January.
So, as we all gathered before the Wall of St. John the Evangelist and Apostle, we talked, laughed and prayed with our memories, stories and feelings.
My sister Anne brought a bottle of water holding two peonies to place into the vase on the front of the vault. Linda and Sue brought other items to place inside...and I was surprised at this, since it never occurred to me that I could have brought anything for them!
So, while the others were putting things into the vault, reminders of things that our parents had shared and collected in their 60+ years together, I was left standing there on the sidelines, wondering what I could have brought with me.
And it suddenly occurred to me that there was nothing I would have wanted to place inside.
Their lives are over and done. The memories they left behind will be enough to sustain my heart and make me smile, whenever I remember the little things that they did for me...or the things we did together as a family. Thinking of these things, these are thoughts and feelings that the three of us shared, just us alone.
I have had Masses said for the two of them, as they make their way to Heaven, if indeed they are not there already. I have no idea ~ God alone knows that! But if they are still in Purgatory, these will be helping them more than words can ever say...until they reach Home for all eternity.
Anne went on to tell me & Mike that the peony bush which had yielded the two flowers for the vase had been the same one that had grown in our maternal Grandparents' back yard, having been planted over a hundred years ago. That bush had been uprooted and transplanted into our parents own yard after Grandma broke up her housekeeping. Then, when Mom & Dad's house was torn down ~ after we had all gotten married and moved out ~ that same bush was moved to Anne's yard. When she & her Dave moved their family out of state, it was finally moved to her friend's house, where it blooms to this day.
There were several things that were put away into that small space on the wall, I don't even know all of it...but suffice it to say, thinking for myself, that my heart left a piece of itself there, too.
As I stood there trying to come up with something, I decided to do what was left to me, the very least, and yet, the very best thing I could ~ I kissed the tip of my fingers and pressed that kiss into the floor of the vault, with a prayer asking that they be allowed to share that kiss forever.
As I sit here now, at this moment, thinking of that moment, I don't think there was anything better I could have offered to my parents than to wish them togetherness for eternity.
Yes, the memory of my own small gift will undoubtedly be a part of my final touch to the two people in all the world who gave me my life.
Remembering my years growing up under their watchful eyes, planting "a kiss and a hug" on each of them, every single night of my life, until the day I moved out, with "wishes for pleasant dreams and a safe awakening"...
And I would only hope and pray that someday I will be able to give them each a kiss in Heaven.
Sometimes a thought will come to you that you wonder if it was by chance or if it was truly meant to be, only yours, only one time, but that one time in all of Time...
Yes, I did what I was always meant to do. Leaving them nothing material ~ they can't take any of that with them, anyway. No, what I would want for them would be eternal bliss in our Father's House. A bliss meant for a married couple who were meant for each other from the very beginning of Time, left by a daughter who loved them very much.
A wish for "a pleasant dream and a safe awakening," together, in Heaven...and a kiss for sharing...until we meet again.