Crying in the Rain

My Mother’s funeral was surprisingly fun, truth be told.  The people wore hawaiian shirts and feather boas.  She was a real character.  No, a normal service wouldn't do for her.  Probably needed one of those New Orleans affairs, with loud music and boisterous singing.  She loved to sing.  She was better at it than she let on.  Never sang honest, so to speak.

I didn't know the man, but he knew her.  He walked up to the front of the church and reached out with a shaking hand.  He touched the little box that held all that was left of my mother.

I watched him.  Sitting in the pew, I watched him.  A hundred other people came by, crying and praying for her immortal soul.  I knew her soul was cared for.  God had caught it right away - she was too good of a person for the devil to even notice it.  So bright it would have blinded his eyes anyways.  Nope, God reached right down and took it on out of her broken body as soon as she was ready.  Nobody asked if I was ready.

He was wearing church clothes; a vest and shined up shoes.  He touched the dark brown wood and bowed his head.  I saw his lips move, but heard no sound.  You don't need to make sound to talk to the dead.

I was supposed to be praying, I think.  The preacher expected that me, the dearly departed's family, would be the one leading the holy crusade for her eternal rest.  Like I said, though, she didn't need no help from me.

When he was done, he slipped a coat on that he'd been hanging over his arm.  I don't know how I'd missed it.  It was a big rain coat, like the kind Dick Tracy wore.  Like the kind my grandfather wore.  Wore it with his corduroy fedora and leather driving gloves.  He'd been gone more than ten years, but I could see that coat, smell that leather, and feel the excitement of going for a drive in Grandaddy's blue lincoln.  Rode like a cloud, that car.

Isn't it amazing how fast ideas can jump through your mind?  All that and more zipped along as the man I didn't know slipped one arm and then the other into the sleeves of his old-man coat.  I heard the preacher starting up again as I watched the lone man pull his collar up around his neck.  He crossed in front of my pew, and blinked up at him.  The candles were so bright.  He didn't even walk down to the back of the church.  No, he slid out a side door while the pastor was talking about heaven and God's great plan.  I could hear the rain when he opened the door.  My mother did love the rain.  She said it was good for the flowers.

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