The day started on a strangely spiritual note when Suzi and I were heading through the lobby and she walked right up to an older gent sitting at a table near the door. Suzi is like that - Miss Social. She thinks everyone wants to say hi, and oh by the way give her a pat on the head. Which is exactly what this man did. We exchanged pleasantries and before I knew it, I had pulled up a chair to listen to his story. He's a 92 year old preacher who is visiting Etowah for a couple of days. This is where he met his wife when he was a new preacher in town. He was 19 and she was 17. They were married for over 70 years until she passed away four months ago today. He sat at the table and told me how he loved her, carried a picture of them in a breast pocket. We both dabbed away tears from our eyes. When Sweetie stepped out of the elevator he saw me sitting there and thought I must have run into an old friend. Funny, after about 15 minutes it felt like we were old friends. Sweetie joined us in conversation and by the time we met my sister in the parking lot, we'd exchanged names and addresses.
|Buck Bald, TN|
|Two Indian Maids on top of the World|
I hadn't known what to expect but I believe it was the perfect end to lives well lived. They earned their place in the National Cemetery. Dad's military career spanned 30 years. Mom spent 60 of her 80 years as part of a military family. It is a beautiful, dignified and sacred place. But it doesn't get much better than going back to the earth where your soul once resided. We did a good thing today. And now, maybe I can finally let go and move forward.
|Bald River Falls|
|She Who Loves the Streams|
It's almost midnight, and this post is becoming a book. I'll write about the 2nd half of the day tomorrow.
Today I'm grateful for my baby sister, Queen Anne's Lace and Black Eyed Susans, waterfalls, the feel of God's hand on my shoulder, mules that smile, the sound a river makes as it travels over rocks, the smell of mountain air, BBQ brisket smoked for 23 hours, rain that drenches you in seconds and makes you laugh at the intensity of it, stinky dogs, and the man I call Sweetie.
Wishing for you a song and a prayer,