Tuesday, April 13, 2004

And then there was One.

I have mulled over this posting many times over the last week.
What to say, after such a week?

That last posting on the first seems a lifetime ago.
Probably because I have spent much of the time since considering my life and times.
And the participants that have shaped my experiences.

At one point, it was titled: And then there were three.
That was and is a true statement. Three Brothers of the Eight siblings.

The news was twice blessed, Mildred out of her misery and passed on to glory.
And a new life. A baby girl. A Great-Grandchild, born the same night.

The trip made once more, down into the Ozark hills. The greeting and grieving and fellowship that, alas, only death seems to precipitate.

Upon my return, I learned of two more friends passing that same fateful Saturday.
Both having suffered long with cancer. One, the husband of the woman who introduced me to my bride was but a shadow of his former vital self. But never yielding.
The other thought she had evaded the grim outcome, and was caught unawares.

I have thought much on suffering and death this past fortnight.
All of the Barr clan that have passed have suffered to some degree.
Mother suffered, but kept it from us. To an extent, the drugs kept it even from her.
Ebb and Saundra in their hospital beds. And I am an awful Grandchild and Nephew, to have not taken the time to visit them one last time there.
As I never could mother.

But the Easter week is not about suffering and death.
It is about sacrifice and renewal.
Of freedom from the veil of tears.
Of the promise of life eternal.

And so, my mind has wandered over the memories of childhood. Of youth.
Of acceptance as a peer.

And has stopped so many times to reflect on the Matriarchy that has influenced that life.

And now they are all gone, save one.

The Hillhouse women were gone in the blink of an eye. Could it really have been only two years between Mother and Saundra?

The Barr clan Matriarchy, both in-laws and out-laws, was spaced out over many years.

And now only one remains.

The mother of my oldest friend.
Who introduced me to the wonder of science. The marvels of art and natural philosophy.

Only two were honest enough to weep at the passing of a Sister-in-law, of a mother.

And I lament the coming day, when all the women I have known my lifetime through are gone.

For I have seen the future.

But heaven will be complete then.
And all the sweeter, knowing they are waiting...