Writing Assignment

This is my first time as a principal in a visit to a funeral director.  Her name is Natasha; she’s good at what she does, and things went well.  Well, there was this one hiccup.

And it was me.

I should rename this blog.  Let’s go ahead and call it “Hindsight is 20/20.”  As soon as I uttered the words, I wanted to scramble around her marble-laden office, pick them up and choke them back down:

“At our church, I do something like what you do.”

I know, right?  As if baking cookies, typing programs, and writing eulogies makes me a bona fide mortician?  Ahem.  Well, in my defense, I do tend to square away somebody if they’re being a stiff.

I’ve been helping with memorial services for nearly two decades—but  this particular place will permanently permeate my paradigm.  The eye-opener here is that, when celebrating someone’s life, there’s no room for being formulaic.

This week, I’ll tackle my most challenging writing assignment ever:  my mother-in-law is no longer here—but I will be introducing her.  To further complicate things, I never knew her.  By the time David and I were married, this lady had already taken down her shingle, so to speak.  The Effie I knew was kind of a blank slate—and I made the horrendous mistake of thinking that’s all there was to Effie.

I was wrong.

Yesterday I confessed to my pastor that I had honored my mother-in-law, but because David never had told me what she was really about, I did not have enough respect for her.  I started crying.  Pastor lightened the moment flawlessly: he took my hand, looked me in the eye, and said, “Laura.  We men are wretched when it comes to communicating.  I apologize for our species.”

So my work is cut out for me.  In the last couple of days, I’ve been employing that one class-term I took of shorthand; David spills it, and I jot it down.  And now I get to turn this stack of chicken-scratch, and an elusive, ethereal idea inside my husband’s brain, into a cohesive, inspiring story.

All by this coming Saturday.

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6 Responses to Writing Assignment

  1. Justme says:

    This Saturday? Ahh for you…problem! Have I told you about this blog I’ve been reading? It’s elsiephoebe’s blog. Did I ever mention how genius her writing is? Seriously, sis, the words always just seem to come; as one young lady we know has said before, “You be fine!”.

  2. elsiephoebe says:

    P.S. to fellow grammar divas: I deliberately left “species” plural, because men are not animal species, and if they were, there would indeed be many (LoL). Oh, and I did not add [sic] because the under-informed might interpret that as my opinion of his joke. 😉
    P.P.S. This comment is better than the blog itself, ha.

  3. Kim says:

    “At our church, I do something like what you do.”

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