|"Idora C. Tucker, 1921–2012"|
Close to 300 people gathered at Bethany Church on Saturday morning to celebrate my mother's life with songs and stories and prayers. They included all the grandchildren, who came from as far away as California, Wyoming, and New Zealand. The singing began with "For All the Saints" and ended with "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" (Mom was a Red Sox fan). Among the speakers were a former student, a fellow teacher, and her tree guy; later in the week I'll publish some of their words. My mother's decline was so swift that she didn't have time to pick out an urn, but she had often said that she wanted one "like Fred's," her longtime neighbor, who died a few years ago. So that's what I told Lindy at Day Funeral Home the morning after she died. He then left the parlor where my sister and my aunt Ruth and I were sitting and went back into his records to uncover the details of Fred's funeral arrangements. Sometimes things are easier in a small town, and this was one of those times. (By the way, Fred's wife Ellie makes a cameo appearance in Our House in Arusha—it was she who startled the folks at St. John's Episcopal Church with the news of my second marriage.) The urn is a simple oak box, and I can see why Mom and Fred liked it. The day after the memorial, about 20 family members gathered at the Randolph Center Cemetery, where we shared more stories and laid flowers and trinkets on the urn, which then went into the ground near my father's casket.