This post, the previous post and the one following are pulled from met very first posts on this platform. I am posting them here as a reset and also a welcome mat to all who care to read. I don’t intend to rehash all these things in detail but at least it is an intro into my heart and the what beauty for ashes means.
This was all written 10 years ago but is still raw today, I have grown much since then, I have suffered, I have been blessed. I have made many dumb decisions. Most of all in the matters of the heart I am an absolute failure.
But anyways here it is:
So beauty for ashes,
At 6am the funeral home came and picked up Melissa’s body, it was rough, my mom followed the gurney all the way to the van, (they brought a van? a van? holy shit) My mom lost it when her body was pushed into the van, I remember thinking how odd the way her body moved under the sheet as the gurney locked into place, they put strap over her body so she wouldn’t fall off the table/gurney, there was no mattress just metal, I thought it was cruel to show us that she didnt need a matress any more, the men who did the job were expressionless drones in the presence of just overwhelming tension. The straps showed the outlines of her body, as they were strapping her in my sisters hand was caught by one of the men and bent backwards, he pushed it back in place like it was meat..I was seriously doubting God at that moment in my life, (4-15-19 I completely forgot about that incident..time does truly heal many things..)
six months earlier when she was still in Atlanta and trying to live a semblance of life, i would drive to her apartment during lunch hour, I didn’t smoke pot but for her appetite I bought a dime bag and when to Kroger and bought a half gallon of strawberry icecream and twinkies and I would walk her out to her balcony and roll joints and fire up with her and she would eat and we would laugh and tell stories and we would live just for the moment….it was so good, (i wasn’t in the ministry at this point in my life, so any judgemental person can chill the fuck out) I would do this about once a week, I never told my parents or her oncologist about these events…we would do it every week or so…her boyfriend (his condo right!) knew about it and he was glad that I could get her eating, she would eat the whole damn 1/2 gallon of icecream and half the box of twinkies..that was some good reefer if you ask me…I would hold her hands…In truth we had never been so close as a brother and sister until I was losing her, it was to me the best times I ever had with her…(4-15-19 not gonna lie, feelings are still as raw as ever! its funny what you think about, the mexican restaurant, the last place we ate out together, is still there, can’t make myself go in though…)
My father and I went to the funeral home to make arrangements to get her body shipped to Atlanta for her funeral service, my brother went with mom who was literally in some kind of medical shock and the phonecalls started, my dad I called his side of the family and my brother and mom started on her side of the family. My sister it turns out had planned her whole funeral service with my mom and when my dad I got to their house she opened the folder and started telling us what to do…My sister wanted me to deliever her funeral sermon and my brother to do a slideshow and eulogy…I was shocked and had only 36 hours to prepare….My mom said that she didn’t want us to know about it and just trusted it to happen.
Most of the service arrangements hadnt been made (like you can really prepare for that in advance) I have a friend who was a florist, we were great friends like soulmates, he was one of my groomsmen, and I called him, he asked me to send one of my sisters wedding pics and said don’t worry I got it, get on with your sermon, the day of her funeral her casket was buried under the same flowers she had been married with, orchids and lillies, truckloads of flowers, thousands of dollars of flowers, it was my friends best gift me in my life, when I was married he did the flowers ( we actually worked on the arrangements together (no im not gay) and we made my wedding cakes together, and this was 10 times the flowers….i think he was showing his concern for me..it helped.
The night I left to drive back to Atlanta for the service in the quiet moments with my Mom, it always came back to my sister’s death, the why? God why?….I never had a good answer..I was seriously doubting God’s providence too, along with my personal issues with my wife, witnessing Melissa’s seizures just seemed cruel…
I was hoping for an answer before I got up to speak, hell, how do you say in 20 or 30 minutes a lifetime of experiences and then attach something significant to it, i was scared shitless….I remember thinking to myself, this isnt about you, this isnt about you, this about you…
and I started a long semi lucid drive home……