“Train children in the way they should go; when they grow old, they won’t depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (Common English Bible)
Guess who showed up at my sister’s Celebration of Life? Christine, my mom’s friend-who-had-more-lives-than-a-cat. Christine was my mother’s made-up childhood friend, whose made-up poor choices and subsequent consequences served as a powerful behavior modification device to keep my sisters and me safe and in line.
All five of my parent’s grandchildren were at Jane’s Celebration of Life. I decided to do a bit of research about whether Grandma Josie (my mom) ever told them Christine stories. Apparently, she did. To a person, they each remembered that my mom, who could not tell a falsehood with a straight face and was incapable of telling a joke without cracking herself up, told them Christine stories. And she did so with a straight and serious face, never once breaking into a smile.
Here is the version they all remembered. One of the grandchildren would stick their hand out of the car window, and Grandma Josie would tell them straight-faced and as serious as can be that her friend Christine stuck her hand out of the car window one time, and … (I’ll leave the rest to your imagination).
With all the powerful emotions of a Celebration of Life, we needed to laugh, and laugh we did. Thanks, Mom, for continuing to live on in the memories of those who love you. Thanks for caring so much about everyone’s safety. You can rest assured that your stories were effective. Not one of your children or grandchildren stuck their arms out of the car window. You will be relieved to know that newer cars have window lock switches. You and Christine can rest in peace.
Thanks for your beloved, precious presence. ~ Anne