My gerbil died while turning the wheel of my indoor voice!

When my Aunt Phyllis died, my father and I sat together in a pew at the back of the church. My Grandmother sat in the front with the rest of her siblings. Phyllis was my Grandmother’s sister. For some incredibly strange reason, as the Preacher was speaking my Grandmother could be heard loudly whispering to each person sitting next to her “Do you want a mint?” I craned my neck to see each politely nod “No”. I thought that was going to be the end of it, but sadly I was mistaken. I watched her turn around and ask the row behind her “Does anyone need a mint?” That was one of the things that I had in common with her; the concept of “indoor voices” was lost on both of us.

My father apparently had noticed that I was not paying attention during that entire exchange. Of course my father had noticed! I was truly afraid to look over at him. I could feel his eyes on me. I really thought that I was going to be in trouble because the entire time that I had been watching my Grandmother, I had started to grin. I thought that he was going to chastise me for smiling in Church, especially during a funeral while the preacher was talking. I felt a little self conscience. I wondered if anyone else had noticed the heathen sitting in the back row grinning? I slowly turned and looked at him. He was smiling too. I felt better. He also had seen what was going on, and thought that it was just as funny as I did. My dad had the best sense of humor. Despite his shortcomings, he knew how to laugh and make others laugh.

Unfortunately, I’ve been to a lot of funerals, so I know about the seven stages of grief. I’ve read them all. The last one is my favorite, and that is “Acceptance and Hope”. It has always taken me a long time to get to that last stage in the past. I analyze everything to death. I’ve always believed though that something that we cling to will pull us out of that darkness and into the light. For me it is faith, hope, tenacity, and just plain stubbornness. I really hate when a person says the words “I can’t”. I always think “did they at least try?” If they didn’t try, then how do they know that they can’t? If they made an honest effort and failed then I understand; but otherwise to just give up is ridiculous! Find help somewhere. The answer is there. You just have to trust, believe and hope in it.

Hope is like a father who is always looking out for you. Sometimes he gives you a lesson. Sometimes he laughs with you. Hope gives you a shoulder to cry on; but not for long. Hope says “Dry your tears, we can fix it”! Our voices don’t always have to be “indoor voices”, but I do suggest that you test that concept out a little before deciding to whisper in church!

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