I know it seems early for me to be digressing from my chosen topic, but, on the other hand, in truth, it is a very real and wonderful part of my journey in America.
I went this morning to the funeral of a 96 year old woman with whom I was acquainted, but whose son I know much better. She was a farm wife, who lived and worked as a wife and mother all of her life. The small country church was filled to capacity with community folks, and with grandchildren representing the foreign service and worlds far beyond the group of farmers there to pay their respects. It was simple, it was sweet, and it was awesome in the testimony given to great attributes – hard work, laughter and love that were the summation of this woman’s life.
It was an event, this funeral, a noisy family reunion where laughter was common as the talk of corn, and in the telling of anecdotes and stories voices would catch with the sudden realization of loss. The underlying truth is, though, that this woman will never die. She may be making chicken salad for God, but her friends, her family and those she counted as family will have moments forever illuminated by her memory. It was beautiful.
There in a packed country church, with windows open to August, with lazy fans overhead and hand fans flapping like the wings of doves, where the choir sang acapella “The Old Rugged Cross” and “In The Garden” and family resemblances ran high, I was privileged to take a very American Road Trip.