Sunday, May 23, 2010

Graduation and Funeral

A blog post without pictures, for me, is unusual but I will try to be brief.

Yesterday was a study in contrasts for me, and I was constantly aware of it and mentally flipping back and forth between what I was doing with my husband and children, and what another part of my family was doing.

My stepfather, who I love dearly, lost his mother, Concetta, a few days ago. She was 89 and lived a good, healthy life that took her from a village in Italy to Philadelphia. I only saw her sporadically but enjoyed her broad smile and fantastic cooking, and she appreciated that I also cook, and do many things by hand. 

The funeral was held yesterday, which meant my mother and stepfather couldn't attend my daughter's college graduation, and we could not attend the funeral. The two events happened simultaneously and I was vividly aware that while we were assembling at the Dell on campus, my brother and parents were in church. I couldn't help reflecting on Concetta's path as on this day my daughter's feet were placed on hers in a tangible, intentional way. Everything about the ceremony I was attending - the families coming together, the prayers,the processions, the flowers, the sadness of an ending mixed with the hope for a beginning - echoed what was happening a few hours away, and the shadow of a funeral took place in my mind the entire time.

This is not to say that I was distracted by grief or focused on the funeral; I simply could not shake the feeling that I was living in a split screen movie scene. We were the actors on the stage yesterday, and I felt it most powerfully.

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