Missing you and smiling

I don’t know exactly why I do this, but whenever I have to say Goodbye to a beloved friend or family member, I buy a plant. Even for our four-legged family members. Sometimes for the outside, either a tree or a rosebush, often Orchids for the inside.

One of my dearest friends passed away last year and I still miss her -we all do. She was more than just a friend, she was family. She was in my life for so long, I couldn’t even imagine life without her. Turns out, I didn’t have to, she is still with me, just in a different way. She was the one who could make me laugh the hardest, we had history together and some stories to tell. Her sense of humor was well known to all of us, feared and loved at the same time.

She knew that she had to say Goodbye and had a few months left to prepare for IT. She called it a blessing, having the time left  to spend with special people, I called her weird :-).

I looked at her tree the other day and saw it blooming, it made me smile and I remembered the last time she made me laugh. It was at her funeral. That sounds crazy, morbid and wrong…I know, but it’s true.

Even though we all knew what was going to happen, we had a hard time dealing with it. We tried to stay strong, pretended to hold it all together, but non of us really could. Her funeral was tough, the music she picked made us cry, the anecdotes and speeches, given to make us feel better, didn’t work very well either.

Then a stranger got up, someone who belonged to the church and read a poem, a poem my friend had chosen.

I was shocked, confused, bewildered
   As I entered Heaven’s door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
     Nor the lights or its decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven
     Who made me sputter and gasp–
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
     The alcoholics and the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade
     Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
     Who never said anything nice.

Herb, who I always thought
     Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
     Looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal?
     I would love to hear Your take.
How’d all these sinners get up here?
     God must’ve made a mistake.

‘And why is everyone so quiet,
     So somber – give me a clue.’
‘Hush, child,’ He said, ‘they’re all in shock.
     No one thought they’d be seeing you.

(Folks in Heaven by J. Taylor Ludwig)

I couldn’t help but laugh and I wasn’t the only one. We all chuckled, laughed out loud later on, when it got repeated.

I looked at the pictures of her tree and smiled. Missing you always, but smiling!


Marilyn from Serendipity had a marvelous idea. A Serendipitous photo-story prompt and I will gladly join. I don’t own a good working camera right now, but I am in the process of changing that. In the meantime I will share some pictures from the past, or some I took on the road with my phone or tablet. Please excuse the quality of the pictures, I don’t always wear my eyeglasses.

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15 thoughts on “Missing you and smiling

  1. A plant. What a cool idea. Honestly I have two brown thumbs, so I’m pretty sure I’d have to mourn my friends death twice if I’d take up this sweet tradition. Thank you for sharing. I hope your laughter continues even as the blooms fade and season rolls on. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t really lost anyone yet, but I’m getting to the age when I’ll probably start. What a great way to remember people. I just might adopt it because it’s just so wonderful. The poem was great too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so touching on so many levels. The loss of your friend is so sad, her ability to be able to say good bye so brave, a wonderful poem, and it makes total sense to me to plant a tree, bush or buy a new plant when someone dies to remember them when looking at it, their growth represents life. Beautiful- thank you for sharing ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A great wity poem. Your friend must have smiled and given her approval. What a lovely idea to remember someone with a growing tree. We lost our son less than ayear ago but saved his indoor plants that are now thriving in our sitting room. His ‘peace lily’ has just started to flower now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think planting things in remembrance is a wonderful idea. A positive expression of memory. I would have a while forest by now. I’m going to plant my butterfly milkweed today … in honor of surviving the long winter and all those we lost during the cold months. It’s grows up bright orange. I like bright!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a lovely way of remembering friends.. and I loved the poem read at church.. I am always the one asked to write the poems at funerals.. A privilege to be asked but a huge responsibility.. I usually try to add a laughter line within them.. We are all of us Human.. ALL have our mistakes, but each and everyone of us Pass through the same door back home.. 🙂

    Love and Hugs for sharing.. and your garden is Glowing!! 🙂 as I am sure your friends smile is as she visits with your thoughts.. 🙂 xxx ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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