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  • Writer's pictureCarolyn Lackey

The Last Errand

I stood in the back room of a flower shop where "the magic happens" when it hit me. This would be the last errand I would ever run with my mom. I didn't cry. I didn't tear up. I felt peaceful and happy.

On Thursday before we celebrated Meems' life, I met with my favorite Lubbock florist, Kelly Marble, to discuss the flowers that would surround her "urn." We actually began the conversation in June of 2019 when it seemed that Meems had only a few days left with us. In the days leading up to dying...I planned her celebration service which was to be held in the sanctuary of our church. "When the time comes, I want the sanctuary to be filled with a wedding!" I told Kelly.

A year later, Kelly and I began discussing in earnest the flowers that I would need for Mom's socially distanced, Corona-safe celebration. I texted him a picture of her gift-wrapped ashes along with the dimensions of the box. He asked if I might bring the package to his shop so that he could make sure that his plan was heading in the right direction. So, I loaded Meems up and off we drove to Marble & Co.

Standing in the workshop admiring all of the flowers and deeply breathing in the scent of fresh-cut blooms, I remembered the afternoon twenty-two years ago that Mom, Uncle Bill, Aunt Wanda and I ventured to a florist in Dallas to select flowers for my sister's funeral. Mom had a vision for Kathy's casket spray. "I want it to look natural and wild and beautiful." She and the floral designer considered flowers whose names only sounded vaguely familiar to me. Meems was in her element. The end product was beautiful.

That memory made me ache with longing for my little mother because I couldn't turn to her and ask which flowers she would choose for her "urn ring" (it's a thing). I glanced over at her gift-wrapped remains sitting on the table and realized that she was, indeed, right there with me.

"This is the last errand I'll ever run with my mom!" I blurted. From there, the conversation was easy. Natural. Wild. Beautiful. Pink.

"You can take her with you. I've got all the information I need," Kelly said as I gathered up my purse to leave. I was relieved that I would be able to have her by my side a little longer. I'm sure that Kelly was relieved that he wouldn't be responsible for the overnight safekeeping of human remains.

The last errand was a full-circle moment for me. As I wrote my eulogy for her celebration, I reminisced about how much she loved running piddly errands and how much I hated running piddly errands. The Last Errand absolved me of some of the guilt I felt about begrudgingly driving her around Waco looking for extra buttons to match the buttons on a skirt she made five years ago or a particular kind of thing-a-ma-jig to fix a thing-a-ma-bob.

Thank you, Kelly & Co. I couldn't have asked for a sweeter errand finale. And, her flowers were perfectly natural, wild, beautiful and pink.

Mom, I genuinely enjoyed and treasured our last errand. It blessed my heart.

Kathy Kinzbach Brewer 1960-1998

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Oct 14, 2020

Carolyn, thank you so much for sharing Meems with us! It also helped me let go of my Mom (d. 8/22/17). t the end, I had to make many of the same, or similar, decisions. I always felt that my Mom, just like your Meems, was with me through it all. Hope to see you at the next Salado retreat🙏🏼❤️

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