Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wake Up Call

Yesterday I attended the wake of a 56 year old mother of three. She had spent a wonderful Christmas Day with all her family, went to bed that night and never woke up. I didn't know Kathy, at least not on a personal level. I saw her around town and at the YMCA on occasion. But I do know her mother and one of her 11 siblings pretty well. We are in a writing group, which meets at her mother Lynn's house once a month. So it was for Lynn and Mary that I attended the wake. It was crowded as you might imagine with such a large family. Placed around the room were lots of photographs of Kathy with the people she loved. And the flowers! I don't believe I have ever seen so many before. As I was looking at the arrangements, the man from the funeral parlor brought in a new arrival. This was no ordinary floral arrangement, but was instead a beautiful red hat. Kathy was in a Red Hat group. Several of her fellow members were at the wake, resplendent in their purple and red outfits. Apparently Kathy's love of hats was not limited only to ones which were red. She had a penchant for decorating hats, and these were displayed all around the room. As I talked with her red hat companions and studied the pictures and hats, I was able to catch a glimpse of the woman Kathy must have been. I sense that she was full of life, ready with a smile, and probably did not take herself too seriously. We should all steal a page from Kathy's book of life.

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