With hesitation I drove to the funeral this afternoon. Not because of the deceased who I had only met once and not because she had made my friend's life miserable. The throbbing in my right eyeball was the reason I wanted to stay home. The church was fair sized with a hand full of people. I sat in the back, alone, not wanting to be noticed. A bad mood is a bad mood no matter where a person is and I was still aching with yesterday's unfulfilled birthday wishes.
Who were these people anyway? The woman ahead of me had an eighties hairdo, and where were the rest of my friends? At home doing their own thing on a Saturday afternoon? I judged every little detail. There was no singing, shame! Served her right, the dead lady. She should have been nicer in life. Should have treated her girls better. Why did Bill give me such a tacky birthday present?
The minister cleared his throat and began to tell the story behind the woman named Jackie, mother to my friend. His words painted a different picture than the one I had heard. She loved her girls, was an extrovert who made friends wherever she went. Due to an unfortunate accident at birth, she had received a brain injury. Later in life, the injury had caused two strokes which possibly changed her thought processes. The minister spoke of her as a "gift". A gift who drove too fast, gossiped, giggled and spoke well of her daughters while maintaining her faith. I could see the back of their heads, felt their pain and wondered if they were regretting having judged God's gift.
After getting home, I looked at the oval mirror with the black velvet backing and read the hot pink lettering about a wonderful wife. It plays music to the song, "you light up my life". I don't know if I will keep it in the living room but whenever I look into the mirror and see my own reflection, it is going to remind me to be a gift, not the judgement of a gift.
Thankyou Jackie, may you rest in peace.