Tales from Leo: Busy Days

Leo here.

Ellouise has already written about her take on the "strange days" around here.
What she says is certainly true but there is more to it - thought I would give you another eye-view of the goings on.

Jim's Funeral Mass will be at their parish church The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament this coming Saturday morning. For the past two weeks she's been making plans, writing lists, and getting things done. Yesterday she and her granddaughter Juliana completed the "program".
They laughed together as they switched font and rearranged the lay-out and occasionally Ellouise teared up, "I know he would love that you are helping me with this, Honey."
Ellouise switched from the formal picture to a smiling snapshot picture of Jim because in the picture he looks like he's ready to have a chat and that just fits the quotation for the front cover:
 "Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears,
      but laugh 
      and talk of me as if I were beside you."  From a Celtic Memorial.

Yesterday she and grand-daughter Alison ran errands together and ended up at Johnson's Florist where they picked out the perfect flowers - white orchids.
Today Ellouise is setting up her sewing machine to make the Pall - a symbol of Jim's Baptism - to be placed on his urn during the Mass.

I heard her telling a friend the other day, "I am glad to have had the time to work out all the details and make these personal things - but the truth is --- the waiting makes it harder." And there is still more waiting ahead because they have not had a call from Arlington with a date for Jim's burial.

Its not all domestic and ritual planning - sweetness and roses. Jim's obituary ran in the Washington Post over the week-end and two days later the local CVS Pharmacy they use called to ask about two prescriptions for narcotics which had been submitted with Jim's name as the patient. Freaky. Ellouise called the prescription insurance company and CVS called the police but because the pharmacy challenged it no one ever showed to pick up. So BEWARE.  Because of this Ellouise has called the local police station about some type of coverage at the house during the funeral. And--the tasteful ad cards are arriving for photos and videos of all the events.

All that goes along with the "he has died" calls I hear Ellouise making starting with Social Security etc etc. Some require certified marriage certificates so her sister Kathy is making a quick stop at the Vital Records Office at the Mecklenburg County Court House as they drive through Charlotte Thursday.
There is a mountain of business stuff to take care of. "I have only touched the tip of the iceberg that sank the Titanic."

Ellouise cried today when the USAA agent said - '' we will retire his member number of 51 years and yesterday when her  cousin called and told her something thing her mother - one of Ellouise's favorite aunts - said when her husband died years ago - 
"you get up everyday and go on- that's what he would want!

OK, I know, I am just a stuffed lion  - - but as I listened and watched I understood.
Women need to connect with the love, strength and wisdom of the old ones  - - the survivors  - - of their Tribe.


Kate Dudding said...

Thanks, Leo, for sharing what Ellouise's days are like. I do remember a feeling of relief after my father's funeral "Well, that's all done with."

Please let Ellouise know that I'm "listening" and tearing up and sending thoughts of strength and peace.

Mallory Moad said...

Leo, you may be just a stuffed lion, but you are stuffed with love and wisdom.

Anonymous said...

What a brave and good lion. Keep talking to him, Ellouise.

Please let Ellouise know that we love her.

Granny Sue said...

Oh Leo, I so remember those days. So hard to deal with bureaucracy and red tape in the midst of grief. Stay with her and keep her chin up.