Friday, January 13, 2012

Circle of Life

Last night I sniffed and snuggled Rachel's daughter, Baby Eleanor.
This morning I sat at the BC Biomedical Lab for 3 hours getting blood tests done with a steady stream of elderly folk and their walking apparatuses. (Apparatusi?)
And this afternoon I was at Margret's dad's (Opa Dueck's) funeral.

It was my second funeral in 3 weeks; Sandra's dad (Papa Woolgar) passed away unexpectedly on Dec 23.

These events, all sandwiched together on top of each other, have given me much to think about.

Thots - In No Particular Order:

1. Content babies are an absolute joy to hold. And behold.

2. Their facial expressions change every nanosecond, so one could take 60 shots in 60 seconds and get a different 'look' each time.

3. My dad is down to 3 expressions. His face used to be so very expressive.

4. Mennonites know how to sing. Especially hymns. In harmony.

5. I think all funerals should have a german element to them. German, is, afterall, the Holy language.

6. Attending funerals is more funner when you walk in with someone and you sit with friends.

7. At least 95% of the folks entering the lab this morning did not read the signs posted on the door, at the desk and on the wall that said PLEASE TAKE A NUMBER AND BE SEATED. They all thought it didn't apply to them - they just needed to ask a question... or just needed a blood test, ... or had an appointment, ... or were dropping off something...

8. I'm a fan of funeral slide shows. Both funerals had great images that gave me valuable peaks into these grandfathers' lives.

9. Christian funerals are so filled with peace. It is Well with everyone's souls at these things.

10. You know how in church services nowadays, someone from the front, usually the worship leader, says something like, "Let's take a few minutes to greet the folks beside us. Turn and say hi to the person next to you." (I? Personally LOATHE it when I'm TOLD to do this.) However, I bet, 50 years ago, no one ever told the congregation to do this. Know why? They did it without being told. Seriously. Today? At King Rd MB Church? I watched every senior (and there were hundreds of them there) shake hands with everyone sitting around them. In fact, every time someone entered my row, or the row in front in me, they looked me in the eye, said hi, nodded and shook my hand.    Classy bunch, those old Mennonites.

11. Both men (Bob W and Henry D) were family men who delighted in their wives, children and grandchildren, (and for Opa Dueck) great grandchildren. The legacy they left behind was a strong family unit that knew they were adored, prayed for and dearly loved. The values of faithfulness, loyalty, compassion, generosity, along with strong work ethics were passed down to future generations by these men who lived with integrity.

12. As I sat through both funerals, I thought of my dad. And how, we've tentatively planned 3 - 4 funerals for him over the years. That man has clinically died many times in the past 20 years. (Likely before that too... he lived a dangerous life - from the war years, to the farm years, to the being-tough-guy-cool years). His funeral will not have a German sermon. And he'd probably want us all to wear red, his favorite color. And cowboy boots... some of us should have on cowboy boots. The rest in stilettos.

13. Some lab techs are brilliant with needles. No kidding; I didn't even feel it go in.

14. That glucose drink? Hasn't changed much in 25 years. Foy.

15. I saw the back side of a small woman as she was talking at the desk. She, too, went straight to the desk without getting a number. "I don't need to wait in line," she said. "I just need to show you this (her blood test order) and get a blood test. It shouldn't take long." She was wearing high heeled red clogs, tight blue jeans, (probably a size 2) a navy and white fitted long sleeve test shirt and a denim vest. She had a full head of thick dirty blonde hair, shoulder-length and styled beautifully. I guessed her to be about 30. When she turned around, I saw that she was probably 90. With false eyelashes. And bright lipstick. And a gazillion wrinkles and a look of bewilderment when the clerk told her to get a number and have a seat. "Where?" The clerk said, "Right there. Right beside you. See that black machine in the middle. Press the button on the front." She asked again, "What? Where? Can't you just help me now?" This went on for about a minute. "What button? Where? Now what? What do I do?"

First of all, people. We need to dress age appropriately. Seriously. I feared for her life watching her walk in those shoes.
Second of all, false eyelashes are not necessary when going to medical appointments.
Third of all, and I could be wrong, but I don't think one has to match their lipstick color with their shoe color.

16. I sat in the waiting room for almost 3 hours, reading my book. In all that time, only one other person brought a book to read as well. AND IT WAS THE SAME BOOK.

17. Both men, at both funerals, had hard childhoods due to the war and economics. Both were born elsewhere and settled in Canada. Neither of them allowed their difficult experiences to overshadow the new lives they built for themselves. They both were happy, twinkle-in-their-eye kinda guys who enjoyed life and all the blessings they received. No bitterness. No anger. No lingering whoa-is-me attitude. Younger generations, mine included, can learn from their example.

18. I am looking forward to being a grandma. Eleanor's 'grandmas' are Gigi and Oma. I have a number of friends who are Omi's and Oma's. I am 100% positive I will not be an Oma. While I wanted and prayed for sons, I think I'd like a granddaughter to spoil.

19. I am proud to have Mennonite blood running through my veins.

20. Three things I'm thankful for:

  • Another (!) sunny day. The mountains? and fields? Looked spectacular.
  • Clint's POLAROID PARTY is tomorrow night. I'm thankful I have friends who want to go with me. (OK It's not HIS party, but it's a fundraiser he has helped organize. I couldn't be prouder.)
  • It's THURSDAY night. The weekend? Is so. very. close. Can you smell it?


Anonymous said...

Thanks Jane. Honestly, you can't beet a Mennonite funeral....actually I really do love any funeral of a person who has walked with the Lord a long time, and it's just plain time to get to heaven already.
Thanks for still blogging.Have a good weekend.

Unknown said...

If I live in the lower mainland when (if?) I have kids, you can be an honorary grandparent since my parents won't be around.

I'll be hoping and praying for a boy though.

valerie said...

I just bought the same book at the costco in Gilbert. Plan to read at least 3 books this week. SOOOO very glad that I am missing the snow.