Speak From The Heart

My heart was racing when I woke up after a restlessness night’s sleep. I had to get dressed for my aunt Lola’s homegoing service.

I have to say something on my mother’s behalf since she can’t leave the hospital to attend the service, I thought as I reached for medicine for my headache..

I was 30 minutes behind schedule when I pulled into the funeral home parking lot on Gun Hill Road in the Bronx. But, there was still plenty of time left in the wake. I was immediately greeted by the half covered faces of my family members.

I gave my brothers and my father a head nod instead of a hug. Then, I handed my brother Randy a proper mask. We chatted with other relatives, whose faces were partially hidden by masks and whose hands were sweaty inside of gloves as we waited to go inside. We were careful not to create a large crowd.

Minutes later, the service started and I took a seat in a row by myself in the back. I felt alone in my grief in a room full of people. I think the physical distance was to blame. Other relatives watched the service on zoom in their cars and homes due to the gathering limit at the funeral home of 13 people.

I fought back tears as a slideshow of my aunt “Lola” in happier times played near the speaker podium behind my cousin reading the obituary I’d written for her. Seconds later, it was my turn to speak on behalf of my mother.

I spoke from the heart for five minutes about the love, gratitude, and friendship between sisters who were 20 years apart in age. And, I think I said what my mother would’ve said or at least I tried.

I went back to my seat as the pastor asked the question, “are you living your best life so you can live again?” I pondered if I’m doing enough to be remembered or get passage into the after life I believe in. I think my aunt did and that comforted me throughout the rest of the service.
(Full speech on my Facebook page )

#cancer #cancersucks #Lockdown #covid19 #pandemic
#coronavirus #mothersanddaughters #invisibleillness #chronicillness #chronicpain #autoimmunedisease #spoonie #sisters #death #loss

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