2012-05-16 “The Country Mile”

People  often ask me how I do what I do.  I tell them the best part of being a Funeral Director is that I get to help people and that is absolutely true.  But last week while I sat at the back of the Funeral Home during a service it occurred to me what an honour it is to be invited into peoples lives and how blessed I am to learn from them.  As a young lady talked about the things that her grandmother taught her, I imagined the relationship that my own children had with their grandmother.  And when it came to the lesson about appreciating nature, the young lady talked about her grandmother taking her for a walk down a country road and saying “you know that saying that you need to stop and smell the roses…well we are going to do that now”.  That was such a powerful statement for me to hear because it made me realize that in my busy world I have forgotten the smell of new cut hay and corn as it grows in the field.  In my busy world I have forgotten about riding my bike down to the ditch and laying there on a warm summer day, watching the minnows and the sound of riding over a bridge made of logs and wooden planks.  And then it occurred to me that Makaila is thirteen and I have never taken her for a walk down a country road.  Lynn and Darrell experienced those things; I remember riding our bikes down the road to the ditch and picking blackberries that grew wild along the way.  But Makaila never knew my Mom and our days at the farm were numbered in her youth.  I have taken Makaila for a drive down that country road to show her where I lived but I’ve never shown her the beauty that the road holds.  And so, if I do nothing else this summer, I will park my car at the end of the road and we will walk from Bill and Nora Towley’s farm on one side and Uncle Bert and Aunt Lottie’s farm on the other to Johnny and Helen Campbell’s farm at the far end of the road.  And I will tell her the stories of my youth and what it was like to grow up with my Mom and my Dad, my four sisters and my brother.  And even if she doesn’t really get it now, I hope that someday she will walk down a country road in the summertime with children of her own and say “this is what your Grandpa told me”.