Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Lovely Italian Catholic Farewell

Several years ago, I showed my Grandma Kitty a grand "Life Center" that recently was build in Indy. Life Center. Fancy word for Funeral Home. I was in awe with it because it had a huge Chandelier that was lit every evening. You could see it for quite a ways. I thought it was beautiful. As did Grandma Kitty, however, she said something that really stuck with me. She thought it was so wasteful to have a funeral at such an "expensive place". She said that she would never want to have hers like that.

When Grandma died, we had a simple service in a full church. Then we gathered in the Reception Party House at her apartment complex. It was a pitch in. With barbecue, salads, and all the fixings. Just the way she'd want it. We laughed more than we cried. We celebrated a wonderful life, her way.

Today I attended a Catholic funeral for a lovely 89 year old Italian woman. It was perfect too. This was the mother of our Best Man from our wedding. She also had two other sons and a husband she left behind. Betty, was a grand woman. She came to America as a young girl from Italy. She met an Italian man, and the rest is history. She was a strong Catholic and came to the church not just once a week, but several times.

Sergio loved going over to their house as a boy. He, the Mexican, and his Italian, Cuban, & Cicero friends ran the neighborhood. They grew up together in a tight Catholic neighborhood. In the late 60's, and early 70's these kids ran the neighborhood. They had a blast. It didn't matter "where" they came from, they were St Bernadette boys.

Today these "boys" gathered again to say goodbye to one of their Mothers. It was touching.

Betty had a full Mass. A beautiful salute, and the most delightful Ava Maria sang in Italian. I was moved.

To have ones wishes given, regardless to what they are is a beautiful thing. I have been to so many funerals. These were two of my favorites. I look at them as a celebration of ones life. We are showing respect and condolences to the family. Both of these women would be proud of how their funerals were handled. To their wishes. Beautiful, touching and well, happy. I left both of these feeling happy to have known them.

1 comment:

Lori ann said...

What a beautiful touching post Janis. I bet both these women are smiling down on you right now.
xxx lori