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Sunday, August 24, 2008

A beautiful day for a service

We woke up to rain this morning, the day of Jenna's memorial service, but rain doesn't bother me. I love the song "Holes in the Floor of Heaven," which is about rain being the tears of loved ones who have passed away and want to be here for us during special events. I knew it was Granny looking down here and wanting to be here for me. She had been there throughout my life for all the big events, happy and sad, and I feel like she was there today.

By the time we got to the church, the weather had cleared a little. It wasn't pouring down rain anymore, just sprinkling a little. My mom had taken the flowers to the church earlier for us, and I was surprised when we got there to see quite a few people already there. Someone had put our flowers on the table already, along with angels and other memorial items. I was surprised to see them there because I hadn't really expected anyone to bring anything. We also had the balloons we were going to release beside the altar table.

My sister-in-law, Melissa, caused everyone to cry when she came in. She's an artist, and a few weeks ago, she asked if I had any pictures of Granny's hands. I did, because I had taken some of her and Tessa's hands when Tessa was just a baby. She had drawn an angel baby with a hand reaching down. The hand was supposed to be Granny's. Melissa captured her hands exactly. I miss them so much and now I have a reminder of both her and my baby. I don't know how I can ever repay her or even thank her for it. It means the world to me and is now on one of our end tables in the living room. I had been holding it together pretty well until then. I just broke down, sobbing.

My cousin, Leah, who has a child with Down's Syndrome and lost her last baby, a boy, to a genetic disorder, brought me a huge flower arrangement with artificial flowers and an angel and baby figurine. She said when she lost her baby boy having something that wouldn't die really meant a lot to her, and she made it for me herself. It's beautiful, too, and I also have put in on one of the end tables.

We had two pastors conducting our service. Jack, the one who married us, also gave us a present. It is a card with Jenna's death date (the day we found out) with a bible verse and a picture of a baby at the bottom. He framed it for us, too. We have it up on the wall. I can't hang Jenna's picture, but at least I have that now.

Chris, the current pastor who also helped with the service, did a wonderful job singing "I'll See You in the Rapture" and "Amazing Grace." Even though I'm not religious, I love both of those songs, maybe because they remind me of my childhood and my granny. He also read a story I found about a dragonfly. It basically says what I think happens when we die, going to a beautiful place where we have wonderful new bodies and can soar like a dragonfly. It doesn't make any mention of Heaven at all. It could be taken as a Christian metaphor, but it also can stand for anyone who believes life goes on after death.

At the end of the service, Jack said he couldn't end without talking about my granny. Everyone loved her, not just us. She was an amazing woman, and he mentioned her strength rubbing off on us. I truly believe the strength and stubborness I inherited from her are going to get me through this. If she can survive all the hardships she had to endure over the course of her life, including losing two babies and carrying one of them for two months knowing it had died, I can get through this, mainly because of the love she gave me. He also said she was taking every opportunity to hold and rock Jenna in Heaven.

After the service, we all gathered outside to release the balloons. My uncle cut them apart because they had all gotten tangled. Everyone grabbed some (my aunt brought even more than the ones we had purchased) and started to let them go. We all watched as they went higher and higher. Everyone was surprised at how long we were able to see them. I think it was Jenna telling us she might be far away from us, but we will always have her in our hearts.

I wanted to include photos of the picture Melissa drew and also of the flowers Brian picked out for her. They were beautiful.

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2 comments:

Kim said...

The picture your sister-in-law did brought tears to my eyes. It is beautiful.

Hugs ~

Kim

Grace said...

The service sounds peaceful and beautiful. I am glad everything went well.
It truly is nice of your sister-in-law to have drawn that picture. It's beautiful.
(((((hugs)))))