Funeral luncheons, Volume 3

This was written in bold, silver marker on the cover of a purple, spiral bound notebook resting on my mom’s kitchen counter:

Funeral luncheons
Volume 3

There was a sticky note and a paperclip marking the progression within this third volume. It was nearing the midway point, half full or half empty, depending on your perspective.

I suppose that this is a good first approximation of my mother. “Funeral luncheons” documented, maybe for herself or maybe for others who will follow in her service role in the parish, or maybe for posterity. Or maybe it’s something else entirely, something I don’t understand. This — the level of organization, the suggestion that there were other volumes before this one, the clarity with which the purpose was spelled out — is the representation of what I admire about my mother. And perhaps it’s also what I’m afraid of becoming. In its clarity, it obscures all of the other things, the collections of random disorganization stuffed into the drawers just a few inches below.

But most of all I know that there is a simple purpose here. I suppose that we all want to document our lives in some way: with poems, with blog entries, or perhaps with a record of the casseroles accumulated for those who could no longer eat.


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