Yesterday was amazing. The air was cool. The fountain was gurgling. I was surrounded by three people who knew my mother the very best in a place that my mother would have absolutely loved - my side yard. And, we had ourselves a little funeral.
When Covid first seeped into my world, I had a little pity party one day. Funerals, as we knew them, were not allowed. Now that things have "opened up" a bit, the safety parameters that have been set make for an unsatisfying celebration experience. I prayed that God would see Mom to the other side of Covid so that I could celebrate her life with all the pomp and circumstance that she so deserved. But, God knows me better than I know my own self. He had a better way in mind. And, His was better than better ever could be.
A friend told me of a funeral service in Dallas that was filmed by videographers. That planted a seed in my brain that began to grow and blossom. Quickly, I was able to pull together the teams necessary to create a tenderly personal celebration laced with music that would have blown my little mother's mind.
Last Wednesday, the two soloists met up at Park Cities Baptist in Dallas. Under the "direction" of my dear, dear friend, Lori Harris Swarner, they made beautiful recordings of three deeply meaningful songs for Meems. Lori sent me several snippets of video as they were recording. Tears streamed down my face. That's all I'll say about that for now. I want you to experience it for yourself when the time comes.
Early yesterday morning, the Contract Cre8tive film crew stepped into our side yard that I have now christened "Mimi's Garden." They set up their equipment and did all the light and sound checks. My pastor, Jake Maxwell, stood in front of Mimi's magnolia and spoke words of love and comfort while Alan manned Jake's iPad "teleprompter." I stayed inside while everyone filmed because I didn't want to have to redo my eye makeup before my turn came.
The "scene" was reset. Alan sat down at our little table and talked about his sweet mother-in-law. Alan and my mother had a very special relationship. They are both planners and list makers. In the video, you will hear Alan tell about a little tradition that they shared from time to time.
My cousin, Sherry, was next. She was very close to my mother. Sherry was born when I was thirteen. When Kathy and I left the nest, Mom took on the role of honorary grandmother for Sherry. She shared some stories of my mother that I had long forgotten. I'm so looking forward to hearing all that Sherry had to say.
Then, came my turn. This is where I sing the praises on the Contact Cre8tive crew. They were so encouraging and patient with me. My part will be an editing nightmare for them. I said "cut" so many times. My tongue would not cooperate with my brain. I had a myriad of words swirling around in my brain. Sherry sat on a little stool with my "teleprompter." Over and over, she softly said, "Just talk to me." And, so I did.
While we were taping, Aunt Wanda sat at my dining table having one last cup of coffee with my mother.
Turns out that a pandemic made possible an opportunity to celebrate my mother in a creative, poignant manner. Yesterday was the sweetest day. I was surrounded by love and laughter and a sensitive, caring film crew complete with one man bun. What's not to love about that?
The details on how you will be able to view Meems' celebration are still in the works. It will be a live-streamed on Facebook at 11:00 on August 22nd. People smarter than me will come up with a way for non-Facebook people to view it as well. I'll let you know when I know.
Thank you, Jake, Alan, Sherry, Wanda and Contact Cre8tive. You're simply the best.