Thursday, December 17, 2009

Standard Bearers

Last year I saw something at the local grocery store that gave me a lift and made me a bit envious. One of the young managers was there with a woman I first thought was his grandmother. They were doing her shopping and were enjoying being out in each others company.
As I had lost my Grandmother and then Mom with-in the last three years I probably watched the scene closer than I should have. It brought back memories and regrets. I had left home after high school and never lived close enough to call for every day things. I can count the times I drove either of them on erans or day trips on one hand.
When I next saw the young man I mentioned how much seeing him with, the lady turned out to be his Great Aunt, had lifted my spirits. He was quite gracious, even introduced me to his Aunt the next time I saw them together. I would always ask about her and send my regards.
When I saw him yesterday we greeted each other as usual, but I knew something had changed as soon as I asked him about his Aunt.
"She passed away in November," he said quitely.
I was at a loss for words.
"She was 98," he told me. "She was starting to have problems..." His voice trailed off.
"I'm sorry," seems so hollow and insignificant.
"She's in a better place now," he said.
We all say it. I suppose we should be happy when loved ones go on to a better place. Truth be told folks, I for one am too selfish to feel that way most of the time.


  1. Yeah, Art, I know what you mean. Both Mom and Dad have not been gone long, and it still hurts. I remember all of the Christmas Days they worked so hard to give us... along with everything else.

  2. Thanks Zack,
    I think the hollidays are when we feel it the most, I know I do. My brother has Mom's phone number now, the one she had for 40 years. Every time I call there's a part of me that still expects she will answer.

  3. Same for my youngest brother who now owns the old home; same phone number. I still have it on speed dial as "Mom"... and when we go to visit my brother I still say "We going over to Mom's place..."

  4. And in truth it is "Mom's place" and always will be. Grandmother Burnett passed away in the 1970's but the farm she moved to with my Grandfather is still "The Homeplace". That's why Helene and I call our little corner of Falls County, Texas "HomePlace". Not much of a difference but makes it ours.
    For several years after Grandmother Burnett passed away Christmas felt incomplete because the family, my Aunts and Uncles and Cousins were no longer gathering at her home on Christmas Eve. The family has been drifting apart since. Sad, but the way it is.

  5. Always difficult to wrap the mind around the idea that time moves on and people are only with us for a space of time, then move on. Someday someone will mourn and remember us.