Sunday, September 23, 2007

I'm kind of homesick for a country
to which I've never been before
no sad goodbyes will there be spoken
and time won't matter anymore...

It was a week ago that Mizz Kay-reen went forth to the bright light of heaven and left us alone here. I know she stands somewhere now in the great beyond with her beloved Otis, happy and free from the pain of this existence.

I know this because I believe that was her wish and I wish it for her as well.

I only met her twice, but she made a very big impression upon me. I was struck by her gentleness and faith. I treasure the sound of her girlish voice singing those bars of "Beulah Land" and I thought I knew why that song was so treasured by her. When I first met her, the song really did seem to tell me so much of what I sensed about her. It somehow said so much about the conflict of being left on earth without the great love of one's life for twenty years, yet being thankful for the gift of long life.

I went back to see her after I heard that the doctors didn't think she had much time left. I wanted to just hold that frail hand one last time. It was a really good visit. And the one thing I sensed most about that second visit was that the conflict was no longer there. She seemed joyful and radiant. She knew she was finally going home.

Beulah Land I'm longing for you,
and someday on thee I'll stand
There my home shall be eternal.
In Beulah Land, Sweet Beulah land...

But she did leave many souls here longing for her and weeping. I attended her viewing this past Tuesday. There must have been 8,000 people there. She was very beloved in this community. Her family stood stately and gracious, accepting the many condolences for the loss of this lovely woman.

It took me an hour to make my way to them and the casket.

I'm looking now across that river,
to where my faith will end in sight
There's just a few more days of labor,
then I will take my heavenly flight...

She always said that she wanted to see Jesus first and Otis second. But I can't imagine Jesus making her wait. I have a feeling He was standing there with Otis waiting for her.

As I said the things I had been taught to say at such times, "I'm so sorry for your loss..." and "She was a very lovely woman..." and knowing how much I meant these things...I glanced to where she lay in her casket.

I noticed that the kiss-shaped marking on her left cheek was no longer there. It may have been just the skillful application of the mortician's art.

But I prefer to think that Otis had claimed his kiss.

Happy Sunday.

Beulah Land I'm longing for you,
and someday on thee I'll stand
There my home shall be eternal.
In Beulah Land, Sweet Beulah land
In Beulah Land, Sweet Beulah land...

7 Comments:

  1. Maridmitch said...
    I found her obituary online at the Newport Plain Talk's website. What a legacy she leaves behind. Your column is a jewel. I hope you provide a copy of it to her family.
    Rosie said...
    I'd like to, Maridmitch, but there has been a pretty active slander campaign being waged against me on the basis of the blog locally. People who don't even have internet access and haven't even read my writing are saying terrible things and I'm a bit reluctant to share anything with anyone locally anymore.

    It's very sad considering what a huge advocate I've been for the community that I may be driven out for writing things like this piece.

    But I didn't think I could stay silent about her. She was just such an amazing woman. We all felt her passing.
    Anonymous said...
    Hi Rosie,

    You may be a gun-toting, progressive, liberal democrat & I'm a non-gun-owning, consertivative republican - but I have enjoyed your website and especially your piece about your friend Mizz Kay-reen. We are blessed when we get to know such as her - I have one in my life and every day is special. As one of your new neighbors maybe you can give me some goat-advice!
    Rosie said...
    Thanks, Anon.

    I try to keep this a safe space for everyone, regardless of political or religious leanings.

    I'd be happy to help you with your goat questions. Just email me.
    Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...
    Your tribute is very touching. The back story you hint at in response to Maridmitch is even more fascinating.

    You asked about my NC relatives. They live in Charlotte, NC. my brother and sister in law are both nurses. They moved there when a wrong headed Conservative government in Ontario decided to save money by laying off nurses. They had three girls late in life. close together,besides Laura, the lawyer, there is Heather, the pyschotherapist in training and Andrea. the professor in preparation at College of William and Mary. Wonderful women well raised.
    Leeuna said...
    Hi Rosie,
    I'm so sorry about your friend Mizz Kay-reen. I know you feel the loss.
    I love reading your blog and I come by almost daily to see what you have written. I'm always disappointed when there's no new post. I can't wait for your novel to be written. Whatever you write will be wonderful to say the least. Reserve a copy for me when you get it published.
    Take care and have a good week.

    Hugs
    Leeuna
    Jbeeky said...
    I don't know why this made me so weepy but it did. A good passing is a beautiful thing to behold, you telling it makes it perfect. I hope I still know you when it's my time, I want one just like that.

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