Let me finish the story I began with my sermon on Sunday.
As I said, my mom passed away in September 2002. The last words we said to each other were the words of blessing: “The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God our Father, and the fellowship/communion of the Holy Spirit be with you always, and all our loved ones, near and far, now and forever. Amen and Amen.”
After Mom’s funeral, her pastor asked if I could officiate at her inurnment. He was swamped. He actually had two more funerals that day. I said, “Sure, I have done it a million times. I even brought my worship book.”
So my brothers, their wives and children, my dad, Kim and I gathered at the mausoleum where we putting Mom’s ashes in the little vault thing. I went through the service as I had done those million times before.
When I got to the final blessing, I made the mistake of looking my dad in the eye. I was struck dumb. I couldn’t get any words out. I looked pleadingly at Kim. She gave me that, “go ahead honey” look. Only after what seemed like an eternity, she understood, and Kim said the words of blessing.
As the final amen was still ringing around the marble walls, Dad piped up, “Damn good thing we have two ministers in the family.”
What a glorious moment. It broke the tension. Dad was being Dad. At that moment, we knew he would grieve and mourn and miss Mom, but he affirmed she was home and he would carry on. Dad also affirmed Kim as a minister – not easy for a life-long Roman Catholic.
And now you know the rest of the story.