The Things We Hold On To

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When I was about 14, the local community center in High Hill, MO (my hometown), liquidated its’ “library”; a locked room that was stacked floor to ceiling with old books. It was first come, first take and I, as a greedy 14 year old, was taking books I knew darned good and well I’d never read. One book I thought I -might-flip through was entitled something like, “Ozark Folklore and Magic.” Hardback, about 200 pages, this book gave all sorts of legends and myths that come from the Ozark Mountains. I don’t remember a whole lot about the book, but there was one chapter on weddings and funerals. For whatever reason, I remember that rain holds special meaning to both weddings and funerals (according to myth, obviously). If it rains on a wedding day, the marriage is doomed. If it rains on the day of a funeral, it is a sign from God that the soul of the person reached heaven.

There are things in our life we just can’t shake, no matter how ridiculous they are. I mean, does anyone really believe that a drizzle on a wedding day means the two folks walking down the aisle will end up on an episode of “Divorce Court”? Highly doubtful.

But, every time I attend a funeral, I hope for rain. Just one of those things I hold onto.

Monday morning (just three days ago), I received a call at 6:30 a.m. that my paternal grandmother passed away in her sleep. She’d struggled for the last eight months and this was truly a blessing that she was released from her pain. And today is the funeral. And isolated T-storms are in the forecast. And it’s something I hold onto – that little bit of knowledge that, however ridiculous it might sound, proves that my grandmother made it into the paradise of the hereafter.

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