A friend of my parents from their mountain cabin neighborhood passed away a few months ago. She suffered many years with Alzheimer’s and the husband did such an amazing job taking care of her. Even when she was unable to communicate, he traveled with her, brought her around for visits and made sure she was always comfortable and had what she needed. Plans were made to have a get together and memorial celebration of her life today. The funeral service had already been held in her home state. Unfortunately, my parents were not feeling well enough to make the trip up to the cabin, so my brother and I went to represent the family. Several friends gathered at the home early in the morning where the husband and son had prepared breakfast. I hadn’t seen the family in years, but they still looked pretty much the same and welcomed me with open arms. I had met some of the other people many years ago and recently spoken to a few on the phone. It was nice to see them in person and have a re-introduction. After breakfast, we headed up one of the mountains. It was a funeral procession of sorts with ATVs and trucks ascending as far to the top as was possible. From there, a few of us finished the climb to the top on foot – first up a steep meadow, then straight up some rocks. At one point, the husband showed us the spot where his wife had climbed to just a few years before. She made her way almost to the top, then stopped. So, they sat there and had a picnic. When I got to the top, I could not believe my eyes. We were on one of the highest points around and could see forever. I spent a few minutes just taking in the scenery all the way around, then brought my attention to the memorial that had been built several years ago. It was a large mound of rocks with a flagpole in the middle. Evidently there was a flag there too at one time. The rocks had names of passed love ones on them, including one other friend. The husband and his son carried up the large rock that they had made just for the occasion. It was a beautiful work of art engraved and painted with the woman’s name and pictures of her favorite flower and bird. As they started to work on placing the stone, we heard a rumble of thunder. There was a storm building just over the next mountain. I said a prayer for safety as the men continued to work, and that was the last thunder that we heard. They rebuilt the memorial a bit and found the spot to put the rock near their friend. Once the stone was placed, each person sprinkled a bit of the ashes and said a few words. Before we made the climb, the husband found one of his wife’s lipstick hidden inside one of the ATV pouches. He brought it up and placed it behind the stone. Those who did not make the trek on foot drove to a place where they could see most of what was happening at the top. Then came time for the descent – almost as tricky as going up. But, we made it all the way down the mountain and to the home well before there was any hint of rain. I thanked God for working that out. Back at the house, there was a feast and remembrances. I enjoyed the conversation and hearing stories of the wonderful woman. I know she will be missed tremendously. I decided it was time to head back to the city and started my good-byes. All the people sent their love to my parents and hope they would be able to make it up soon. I agreed. When I got home, I shared all the pictures with my parents so they could feel a part of the day.
I Found God today in celebrating the beautiful life of a family friend and all that was included in that – loving friends, a mountain climb with amazing scenery, remembrances and answered prayers.