"I had never thought I would be in such need, but here I am" - Emma Lee, September 5th 2011.
I thought I would share the events with you from the last few days. You have requested in numbers for this blog to remain active, and for this blog to be immortalized in book form. I will try to make these wishes happen for you, and my mother.
My mother had a way of reaching people, that I can only hope to carry a fraction of.
So lets take you back over the last week. The main thing you will note is that we waited, we took our time. You may remember over the last few months my mothers vocabulary started to involve a certain word "Proper". We did it proper.
We were so lucky that my mother, being the realist was a planner until the end. Before her trip to Maui, she sat with Jim Webber Cook (Trinity United Church) and gave him a program, covered with her handwriting she wrote "Wow!" above the scripture she wanted, circled the information on the Taize, included 2 hymns with exclamation, and one hymn with (Maybe?) . So "maybe"- you were scrapped and we put in "From Now On" written by my mother, inspired by her walks with honey, and performed at Maritime Conference 2011.
We just had to fill in the blanks. Even until 11:59AM on Monday we were filling in the blanks. On sunday afternoon we arrived home to find a card from Linda Arsenault including a poem she had written in the summer for my mother titled "Emma's Courage". It had to be involved. So, I ran over to the church, card in hand and caught Jim Webber Cook as he was leaving for his lunch break and asked "Can this be on a screen?" Trinity made it happen.
The service started with "Somewhere Over The Rainbow/ Its a wonderful world" during my parents trip to Maui my dad and mother fell in love with "Iz" so I asked if we could include this special medley. It was an opportunity to reflect before the beginning of the service. Linda's words beamed clear while the song played.
Emma's Courage :
Emma's courage is big
It grows when it is stroked
Hot as a volcano's fire and energy
Ice cold and soothing as a mountain lake
It sleeps to nourish the soul
Awakens as calm courage
Emma's courage beckons brilliance
Lights laughter in those blue eyes
Her courage has no weight
It is like a feather
Soft and tender
Wanting to be touched
Emma's courage spreads love
It is a reason for hope.
Following this we moved into the Taize, mediation through music- and into the welcoming.
During my mothers battle, she found comfort in candles. So I asked if we could light some candles during the ceremony in honour of my mother. So we lit : The Christ Candle (Jim Webber Cook) The Candle of Community ( Janet Erving) , The Candle of Memory (John and Mary Boulter) , The Candle of Music (" Aunt Liz " - Elizabeth Van DenEden ), The Candle of Peace( Lorne Boulter) , The Candle of Love (Jim Stewart), The Candle of Thanksgiving (Lee Stewart) , and The Candle of Hope (Myself, Mary) .
The special music was "His Eye is On The Sparrow". What can I say about this, they sang like she was standing there beside them, it was the best I have heard their voices shine. Beautiful.
Floyd Kind joined us to do a special song for my mother- "In My Life" it was requested by my father in honour of his love for her.
We played "Send Someone For Me" rare you can perform at your own service. But, she deserved to.
David Wallace and Bruce MacIntosh gave remembrance to my dear mother. I hope they forward copies of their words so I can share them with you because I cannot give it justice.
Doris Mason sang "When Emma Sings" sitting in front of her I couldn't help but stare, I tried so hard not to look because I didn't want to throw her off. Even though Doris was an amazing friend to my mother, she was still there and able to sing the song she wrote for her on her 53rd birthday. Beautiful.
Jim WC, Jim S and Bonnie spoke beautifully throughout the service and their words were so appropriate.
It was a beautiful send off to my mother.
Following the reception, my family and David's mother and father joined at the house for a taste of The Lord Provost's Scotch. A toast before joining friends who gathered at my mom and dad's old stomping grounds "The Dock". My parents shared so many laughs with friends through the last 15 years that it only seemed appropriate.
Monday evening we sat and reflected about the day, feeling as though she would be proud and humbled by the outpouring.
So now what?
Big things ahead, going out into The Dragon Boat, Interment at Heatherdale, and off to O'Leary where my mothers family was born to fulfil her wishes.
Today we purchased http://thereasonforhope.org ! I have started a small website where I will continue to update about the fundraisers, and its a place to buy your CD! The charity will continue and the legacy will go on.
Continue sending your stories of my mother. They have been beautiful, and so comforting.