|Tito Lito Calzado at my wedding in 2007|
But wakes in our family have always been... Hmm, the right word escapes me but "fun" is what comes to mind. There's lots of food and conversation, lots of singing and musical performances, lots of funny speeches, definitely lots of tears but there's a ton more laughter. I grew up going to wakes and funerals and thoroughly enjoying them, even the one for my own Mama. All of my friends told me that Mama's wake was the only wake they attended that made them actually want to stay, that when they left, they didn't feel sad or scared. They felt entertained and warm and fuzzy and even happy. Yup, that's my experience, too!
|My sister Jacqui, cousin Iza and sister-in-law Rose|
at Mama's funeral in 2008.
When Mama died, my eulogy was based on Jeremiah 29:11 "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" When someone you love dies, it's very hard to think of the future. How can life go on after this? So that promise, that this painful experience is not meant to harm me, truly did give me hope. I said in my eulogy, "Mama is dead but she doesn't belong in my past. She is in my future because we will surely meet again one day."
Peace, hope, joy. Sure, there is that awful grief but there is also the comfort of such wondrous peace, hope and joy. I wish you all that same peace, hope and joy, even in the midst of your darkest night, even in the face of death itself.