Pebble Number Sixteen: Unforgettable

January 16, 2014

I sat in the cold under a blue canopy staring at the peach colored casket of the woman who was my surrogate mother. My brother’s grave was just a few feet away. The stones of my ancestors  lay willy nilly in the grass, waiting to be reset. Closure is so difficult when the sun shines down and the grass seems to be sprouting despite the bitter air. After the funeral remarks, Bing Crosby serenaded the small throng gathered to say goodbye. We held hands and swooned, singing the lyrics as tears ran down our faces:

“My darling it’s incredible that someone so unforgettable feels that I’m unforgettable too.”

My grandfather and I danced to this song at my wedding. He held me close, swaying with the music while a tear formed in his eye as he saw me transform from the little girl he held in his arms to a woman entering the world. We didn’t say a word. We just allowed ourselves to be swept up in the moment. For so long I thought that the lyrics were about one beloved being seen as unforgettable, but as I sat holding the hands of my relatives and sang the chorus, I realized  that it’s about reciprocity. The song is about being honored to be seen as unforgettable by someone you see as amazing. This was my grandmother’s final gift to us in this world. She was honored to be seen as unforgettable by so many who are so unforgettable to her. It was the ultimate I love you and goodbye.

 

2 thoughts on “Pebble Number Sixteen: Unforgettable

  1. These simple moments in times such as funerals and burials can have such impact. I can connect.

    I stood above my papaw’s grave, staring down the six foot hole, as crumbles of dirt did almost a good-bye tap dance–the unwanted pre-show to his final departure. I was so caught in that moment, reminding myself that this was it, this was the last time I would be in the physical presence of his body. This was the 8th of October. He had gone 8 days without food or water before he had passed. I thought back to the days when he was at home when he and I would sit on his porch together and watch for deer. It always made us so happy when we would see one. The day of his burial, something beautiful happened. My mother, brother, grandmother and husband were traveling together in one car. Standing confidently and strong out in the field were 8 deer. Any other time, they would have sprinted off, afraid, on edge. On this day, they stood still, staring at us. The gloomy symbols that had haunted me…the lifeless body in the casket, the muddy burial resting hole, the final painful moments in the musty nursing home room…they escaped me. I realized that there was a very real, very living spirit that was now there to watch over me…to remind me of what really mattered…to help me cope…to sometimes present beautiful things to me even in the darkest of spaces.

    Keep those beautiful pictures dancing in your mind. Keep the moments that matter alive. This way, your dance doesn’t come to an end.

    And keep writing. You never know where your reflections go, or who hears them. :)

    • Thank you for sharing this amazing memory. I went for a walk today and saw a lone deer on the path in front of me. When I looked to the left I saw four more. We stared at each other for a moment and I felt this tremendous peace. I also thought of you. I agree, writing and holding on to all of the signs that show spirit living on brings comfort.

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