The past week has been overwhelming,heart aching and the longest week in the longest time.
It all began last Saturday, a day that was to be filled with homey type things,laundry,shopping and a bit of canning but an email came , "Please call,there's news.Nothing that effects you or me directly but family news none the less" I called and on the other end of the line I heard of my Aunts passing. I was effected and tears rolled. And my heart strings were pulled away from home,down the green valley,past farms and hills I know well.I needed to visit with my Grandparents to stand in the old country graveyard sheltered by giant sized oak trees.To turn and face the rolling farm land with the knowing that this is the perfect place for the two of them to lie.I wanted to make sure they were still there even if it is just a marker upon the earth.To make sure they knew their child was coming soon.
As the car rolled along I thought of my Aunt the Master Quilter and wondered if she left anything undone.I knew it would worry her if she had.I thought of her sewing room with it's neatly folded shelves of rainbows of fabric and spool after spool of threads.
I thought of my Uncle and cousins with deep quiet.
Then Sunday came with a heart stopping call,my Dad was on his way to the ER. As I drove to the ER trying my best not to crumble apart I found my inner calm like a voice form far away. "Dad is not in an ambulance,he's being driven into Portland.That's a good thing he will make it through whatever it was." Whew,sigh and a great big Om. Dad spent three days in the hospital for an old mans aliment which would cause him some embarrassment if I shared it here.
During Dad's stay in hospital we talked of his sister,the middle child and only girl child out of the five of them.My Dad's biggest sorrow- he is the eldest, he has been through hell with his body,he should have gone first.To be the big brother and lead the way over.
Tomorrow are the services for my Aunt.There will be other Aunts, a few Uncles and a gathering of cousins.It should be an interesting day spent with this family of mine.You see,we tend to laugh when things are awkward and no one really knows what to do with themselves.When Grandam made a bunch of us go and help her pick out Grandpa's casket it was one joke after another.I picked one with Mt Hood,some trees and a big Buck Deer on the inside of the lid by the deceased persons face."Hey Grams,Gramps would have loved this one,look- all of his favorite things right there on the lid for him to see." Grandma bought it hook ,line and sinker.She missed my humor because well...who ever heard of such a thing the whole family shopping for a casket.
I have manged to hold myself together this week until today when I stopped to buy some cards for my Uncle and two cousins.Standing in a line at a crowded shop I felt the tears there ready to spill again. But there is another family trait that came into play there in that moment. We Linn's are stoic, a skill taught to us from an early age.Suck it up and keep on going.Well...until some moment is so awkward it is followed by silence.The silence is then relived by some corny crack.Then laughter.
The card I bought for my Uncle is partly a quote from "The Little Prince." and here it is-
"In one of the stars I shall be living In one of them I shall be laughing And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night. ....and there is sweetness in the laughter of all the stars....and in the memories of those you love."