I don't even know where to start.
I guess I should start with the sad part. Jim's cousin, Daniel, died suddenly from a massive heart attack yesterday. He was 41 years old. He had a wife, a daughter, and twin 3 year old boys. It is so, so sad. We just couldn't believe it...but we had already scheduled the Family Christmas and everyone was coming in for it. I think I've talked about Jim's family and the matter-of-fact way they view death.
But, this case is different because 41 YEARS OLD.
So some of us sat around the table with my mother-in-law, as she recounted the events of yesterday, and remarked 3 or 100 times that it all seemed unreal. And how Daniel's wife sat at the hospital with a tissue in her hand and twisted it around, over and over and over...her skin pale and her eyes blank.
Totally in shock.
I sat there trying not to cry, and my mother-in-law started telling about her most recent trip to the cemetery. My mother-in-law and her sister, June, have taken it upon themselves to put flowers on the graves of everyone in the family. They've done this for years and years. Every season, every holiday...they are up there changing out the flowers for all the graves. My mother-in-law keeps a stack of plastic and silk flowers in her carport. She has them for all occasions. She told me that when she dies, I won't have to buy any flowers for her grave, because she has them all right there in her carport.
My mother-in-law will also put flowers on other people's graves if she feels like they are being unattended or neglected by their family. It's at this point where she usually makes up a story in her head about why the family has not taken care of their loved ones grave and the scenarios go anywhere from that they have all died off...to they've all moved away...to some sinister event that went on in the family and now they won't even take care of the grave because of spite.
My mother-in-law was trying to split some of that floral foam with her hands, but it was too hard...so she angled it on the tombstone and pushed down real hard to try and bust it down the center. She busted it all right. She about busted her HEAD WIDE OPEN, because she ended up losing her balance and FALLING OVER THE TOMBSTONE to the ground.
And, right here, it might be good to know that my mother-in-law is not light on her feet. She's not nimble. She's not a-GILE, hos-TILE or even MO-BILE.
Aunt June had gotten cold some time ago and was sitting in the truck where it was warm...periodically calling out to tell my mother-in-law that so-and-so needed a couple more flowers on their grave.
So as my mother-in-law was flailing on the ground, Aunt June called from the truck, "JACQUIE?! Are you okay?"
We were sitting there...at the kitchen table...while my mother-in-law was telling this story. Some of the big kids: Holly and Aaron, Logan and Morgan, Clark and Faith...were sitting at the one end of the table talking with each other. I was sitting at the other end of the table with my mother-in-law, and she was talking to me. My mother-in-law pulled up the sleeve of her shirt and showed me this nasty looking wound on her arm from her fall. And, as if that wasn't enough, RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF GOD AND EVERYBODY, she pulled down the neck of her shirt to show me her OTHER boo-boo...and inadvertently ended up showing me her...ummmm...chesticle area.
And she was, like, "what?"
And now I'll say GOOD-NIGHT and finish my story tomorrow. Because that's really enough, right?
This post continued here and here.
"Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy..." Psalm 126:2