Elias asked me to draw a rabbit this morning. I gave it a shot, and he said, “Ugh! That doesn’t look like a rabbit!” Which it really didn’t. Drawing is not my best thing.
It reminded me sharply, though, of a story my mom told about my Aunt Roberta. Mom said something or other about not liking it when a kid asked her to draw a horse, because she was so bad at at, and Aunt Roberta said, “Oh, it’s not so hard. You just look at the horse, really look at it, and then you can draw it.”
That never worked for Mom. It doesn’t work very well for me, either. I could look at a horse for a very long time, and still not get a very good likeness on paper. And that’s okay. (With me. Elias seems pretty irritated.)
But man, if that wasn’t just exactly like Aunt Roberta. Trying to make something easier for Mom, and maybe downplaying what she was good at just a little. Said kindly, with encouragement, so she’d want to try again.
Aunt Roberta’s funeral is tomorrow morning. There are a lot of sad people around here this weekend, people who are going to miss her quiet, joyful presence.
In the days leading up to her death, when I knew it was coming soon, I found myself humming a song over and over, unconsciously.
Joyfully, joyfully, onward I move
Bound for the lands of bright spirits above;
Angelic choristers sing as I come,
“Joyfully, joyfully haste to thy home,”
Soon with my pilgrimage ended below,
Home to the land of bright spirits I go,
Pilgrim and stranger no more shall I roam,
Joyfully, joyfully, resting at home.
If anyone went joyfully onward, I’d guess it was Aunt Roberta. Everyone left behind will just have to go on the best we can. As people do.