Monday, February 20, 2012

In lieu of flowers, send balloons

We live in what I like to call a "transitional" neighborhood.  The houses are over 60 years old and many of the original owners are still here.  Do the math.  Of our immediate neighbors, we are 3 decades younger than Mcnulty, 4 decades younger than the "Boy Wayne", 5 decades younger than old lady O'hara and 6 decades younger than the Falls.  You read that right.  Mr. and Mrs. Falls are in their 90s!  Well, they were in their 90s.  I mean, Mr. Falls is still in his 90s.  Sadly, Mrs. Falls passed away last week.  And that is what today's post is about.  A woman who I hardly knew.  A woman who I only spoke to twice, since she was sickly and rarely left her home.  Essentially a stranger, who left a big impression on us.

Over the last few months, an ambulance has come to their house and taken Mrs. Falls to the hospital, many times.  The Salad, interested in all emergency vehicles, watched with rapt attention from their hiding spots behind our curtains.  We have some tact here, you know.  2 Wednesdays ago, it happened again.  Then 2 days later, the cars showed up.  Probably 20 of them.  Cars I had never seen before, parked up and down our street.  They stayed for days.  Most of them didn't move at all. 

They had brought Mrs. Falls home and her family had come to see her Home.  They hunkered down in that house for 5 days.  My innocent S, suggested they had brought her home and they were having a party to celebrate.  I didn't have the heart to tell her otherwise.  On Wednesday, when we left the house to take the Salad to school, the cars were gone.  And I knew Mrs. Falls was too.

6 children, 14 grand-children, 3 great grand-children all came to say goodbye.  To an outsider, like myself, it seems a testament to what an amazing mother she must have been.  I told the Salad this morning that S was right.  Her family had come to celebrate Mrs. Falls, but that she had died and gone to be with Jesus.  M said, "This is sad, though.  Why are they celebrating?  And did Mr. Falls go to be with Jesus too?  Who will stay with him so he doesn't get lonely?"  I told them that her family celebrated that she had lived such a long life.  They celebrated because she had given them so many memories.  They celebrated that she had given them each other.

We passed the Falls' house this morning and the Salad lamented the fact that they had no balloons outside of their house for the celebration.  They quickly formulated a plan to decorate their front light post.  I'm hoping they forget, though maybe they are onto something?       

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