Tonight, we are looking through Mom’s books. We are trying to find something to read at her service. Something that will make people smile. Something that is deeply true. Something that is quintessential Mom.
We have scanned C.S. Lewis and Henri Nouwen. I poked through the shelves that hold her “book club” books. We sifted through piles and baskets and shelves and nooks. Mom has a lot of books. Most of them I want to read.
Now, though, I want to read them to see what Mom underlined, to see what she found profound enough to warrant a hunt for a pen. I want to see what touched her. I want to see more of who she is.
I’m about settled that it should be Anne Lamott. Mom loves her. The woman is who we are all on the inside – funky, cool, and completely neurotic. I know Mom appreciates that.
The trouble I’m having, and I’m sure you can all relate, is that it’s hard to read something that describes the breakdown of a car with the phrase “as if all of its internal organs were trying to fall out of its vagina.” This somehow seems inappropriate for a funeral.
But boy, that would make Mom laugh. I can just see her looking down at all of us from her big recliner in Heaven. She’s surrounded by yarn and quilting supplies, books and journals. She sees us all walk in, somber and sad. She hopes we’ll laugh. We sing; she sings along. She listens while her friends sing. And then someone reads the Lamott passage. The word “vagina” reverberates through the sanctuary like the announcer’s voice at a football game. Jaws drop. Silence descends. And Mom laughs so hard that the church shakes with joy. Amen to that.