A final farewell to a loving mother

By Jonathan Key | Sep 05, 2014

I said good-bye to my mother for the final time last Friday morning. The sun was beaming through the trees, creating shadows on the ground, and the last few drops of dew were still glistening on the leaves of the small, newly planted red maple tree we placed her under.

Initially, a red-tailed hawk looked down on us from his perch high up in an Oak tree but as family, one by one, stepped up and spoke a few words about Adelaide, the hawk circled us, slowly and continuously, as if listening to every word and then flew off just after the final words were spoken.

In my remarks to the group assembled there, I was reminded that in 1Corinthians Chapter 13, God speaks of faith, hope and love as part of the Christian life, with the greatest of those being love.

My brothers, sister and I have grown into the people we are thanks to the remarkable faith our mom had in us. I am forever thankful to her for the hope she gave to so many people and I am eternally grateful for the love she shared so abundantly with all who knew her…no matter what.

After the service, mom’s friends and other family members retreated to the house and left my brothers, Rusty and David, my sister, Adelaide, and I alone by the still open spot in the ground.

Without saying a word, Rusty suddenly turned away, walked to his truck and pulled out his guitar. He returned to the grave and began serenading my mother with the tunes she loved to hear him play. As Rusty sang, and the soft acoustical sounds of this impromptu concert lifted us, David, Adelaide and I knelt by her grave and tenderly, handful by handful, replaced the dirt from the hole in which she was placed.

Tears flowed down our cheeks, falling like tender kisses onto the ground under which she lay, as we all sang together the words to Return to Pooh’s Corner:

Christopher Robin and I walked along

Under branches lit up by the moon

Posing our questions to Owl and Eeyore

As our days disappeared all too soon

But I’ve wandered much further today than I should

And I can’t seem to find my way back to the wood.

So help me if you can I’ve got to get

Back to the House At Pooh Corner by one

You’d be surprised there’s so much to be done,

Count all the bees in the hive,

Chase all the clouds from the sky.

Back to the days of Christopher Robin and Pooh.”

For just a few moments we were simply four little children again, tenderly singing our mother to sleep, and remembering how grateful we are that God gave us to her.