"Time to get up, Marie! There is a lot going on today, and you need to get moving..."
"Okay, Zebbie.. Do we get to open our presents today?"
"Yes, Marie, we can do that sometime this afternoon, I'm sure. Get up now, and go use the bathroom and don't forget to wash your hands."
She dutifully got up and ran to the bathroom. She was in a little pink nightgown. It kind of clashed with her red hair, but she still looked a little doll. She was our little princess, and babied by all of us.
Breakfast was a noisy affair, and it was a lot of fun, listening to everyone talking all at once. Soon, though, it was over, and neighbors went home to get ready for the funeral which was slated for around 11:00 a.m. at the little church down the road from us.
We got ready as well. The Hintons left, and as Arlissa and Rosie hugged each other, I noticed they both had the same shade of red hair. Another coincidence.
At 9:30, the hearse from the funeral home came to get Grandma's remains, and take them to the church for final viewing and the funeral services. I didn't look forward to that.
It was cold as we assembled to walk to the church. We walked in silence, each lost in our own thoughts, while we battled the wind blowing us along. I hoped the church would be warm when we got there. Rosie and I walked alongside Ma, and Les and Marie walked with Grandda, one on each side of him, holding his hands.
Marie had one hand in her pocket, no doubt it was curled around her little mouse carving.
When we got to the church, it was warm. The pastor's wife had apparently built a fire in the big heater that stood in one corner. We walked up the aisle to where the casket stood on a bier, and stood near it, like the funeral director, who was there in the church, directed us to do.
It wasn't long before the church began to fill up. People came by and shook our hands, just as though they hadn't seen us since she passed away. Then after everyone was seated, the preacher got up, and stood behind the pulpit.
Standing before us, he took out his Bible, opened it to the book of John, and read words that have since become as familiar to me as my name.
John 14: "Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me...."
(To be continued)