Down in the Quality Inn for Glo's memorial service. Surrounded by the giants, we'll troop in at the last minute tipping the room toward the front. I know, I've seen it happen before. We spent last evening at Glo's home, where my sister-in-law and I had a teary moment among the boys (and E). I couldn't bring myself to walk into the back room overlooking the valley, because that's where Glo always sat after she was no longer capable of meeting us at the front door. The emptiness in that room, the emptiness in her leather chair--the chair that bears her narrow dent--was haunting. With her husband, we looked through her jewelry, laughing at some of her inimitable pieces, pieces we'll wear this afternoon: earrings made of titanium shaped as the globe, silver coffee mugs, long slender spheres. It was a gift to receive them, a gift to simply touch the things last touched by her.
And this afternoon, friends from every season of not only Glo's life, but ours will gather. It's a testament to her amazing relational gifts that our friends knew, remembered and loved her! Of course, many of Beve's relations--uncles, aunts, cousins--will sit in the front pews with us. Her husband's family--people we sat with, ate with, danced with at their wedding, when E was the flower girl, and Beve stood up beside them as well--have flown in from across the country to join us. One of my siblings will be there, Beve's first post-college roommate, others who have populated our world for the length of our time on it. Our closest friend will sing with one of his daughters, just as he sang at my dad's memorial. I told his wife that we've already booked the whole family for ours. So, if one can look forward to such momentss--though with a lump in my throat--I look forward to those hours. Talking with our friends, talking to hers. Many of her friends we've known a long time as well, people we've broken bread with, kept track of, via Glo, so much track we feel like we're part of their family and they're part of ours.
I'm taking tissues, of course. Wearing minimal make-up (which just meaning leaving off the mascara I almost never wear, anyway!), preparing myself. But it will be a great send-off. One with food and flowers and all the folks she loved. Exactly the kind of party Glo used to plan for every holiday, parties she learned to plan at her mother's knee. There might not be dancing at the party this afternoon, but I can guarantee she'll be dancing with the angels on her TWO strong legs as she watches.
PS. Beve has just been retrieving messages from Grampie's cell-phone. There were 35 messages on his phone. So far all but two of those messages have been from Glo. Hearing her cheerful, loving voice is wrenching. Grampie keeps saying, "Gosh all Friday!" every time he hears a new message. After about the tenth, it's slightly humorous. But, of course, he wants to keep every one of them as long as he can. I know how he feels--I would give anything to have had such messages from his dad after he died. But someday there will be another conversation, face to face. For Grampie and Glo, and Dad and me. We await...we await that glorious dancing day.