Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thoughts About Today

I awoke on this first day of Spring to tiny snowflakes falling, powdering the young blades of green grass, and the tulip buds that broke ground earlier this week.  First day of Spring?  Well, it is Chicago after all.

My thoughts today aren't really on the weather, though.  I've just completed the final revision on my father-in-law's eulogy.  My husband read the first draft and cried, so I guess I hit the right mark for it.  I hope Dad likes it.

This is our day to celebrate his life with our family and a few friends.  Dad's almost 90 years on this earth deserve such a celebration.  The words of my tribute today speak to that.  But this will be a hard day, too - a day to formally say goodbye.  This simple ceremony won't close the door to our emotions, though. 

We are all still coming to terms with our loss and it's hardest for R.J.  So, today we will find strength as a family, find strength in our faith, and strength from the comfort and condolence of friends.  But, having been through this parental loss myself, I do know what R.J. is feeling and I only hope my strength can continue to speak to his grief; a grief that lessens but never ends.

So, time to get ready to go to church.  I'm looking forward to letting Dad know how very much he meant to us all.  And, for those friends not here with us today, I know from all your kind words that you are here in spirit and that is treasured more than you know.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Writing A Eulogy

A memorial service is being held on Saturday for my father-in-law, who passed away a few weeks ago.  My husband has asked me to write a eulogy for him.  I wrote one for my mother, another for my dad when they left this earth.  Those were easier because I had shared my entire life with them as their only child.  Writing this one is proving harder, not because I don't have as much material, but because I have too much.

We have had condolence notes from friends who remember him fondly and share their memories, my husband has spoken to his father's sisters who shed their light on his life, our own family circle has contributed a lot of material as well, the lady in his life has touched us with her stories, and my husband can't stop telling me about all his father did to enrich his life.

My difficult task, then, is choosing what to include and what to edit.  All of it deserves to be said but that is impossible in the limited time I have to deliver this message.  So, it isn't the actual words to paper that are hard; it's which words.  I don't want to offend anyone by omitting a fond remembrance, and it is important to me that those attending the service know the full measure of his impact on this earth.

On Saturday afternoon, I will read this eulogy (at my husband's request again because he doesn't feel emotionally able to deliver it himself just now) and I hope that what I read will do justice to a man that I loved dearly and who loved me in return, for which I was blessed.  And now I must get back to the composition of it, and pray that I do him proud.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I'm Still Here

To those who regularly come back to this site, I must apologize - again - for my lapse in regular posts.  So much has been going on in my personal life, and my writing time (never as many hours as I'd like) has been completely devoted to finishing my novel.  In fact, I'll be going to that work as soon as I've published this post.

I just wanted my readers to know that I've "had a talk with myself" - a habit developed early as an only child and honed for many years to an artistry - about the need for carving out some time each week to put in print something from the myriad of thoughts that continually ramble through my brain.  I have a legal pad sheet on which I jot down ideas for this weblog, and I'm confident I'll never run out of them.  Time is my enemy, not lack of ideas.

So, I thank you for not giving up on me yet, and I assure you I haven't given up on me either.  I would say I long for more order in my life, but that would be a lie.  I love the crazy, undisciplined days I live and the family and friends I share them with.  But it does create guilt in my mind, at times, for what isn't accomplished.  Thus, the reason for this entry.  Don't give up on me; I'm still a work in progress.