Short Pump, Virginia
Margaret's Memorial Service
Portraits of Margaret stand amidst flowers on the communion table at Cambridge church this evening. To the left she is pictured as a young woman with her husband Fred when they were married in North Carolina during World War II. To the right is a photograph of her as a mature woman of 85. It is a favorite of her daughters.
Memorial services are about the living. The dead are past caring. There is perhaps none more living than the children who attend the service. There is a sense that something is passing from the oldest generation to the youngest — perhaps a candle — from a hand that can no longer grasp it into hands that are only now beginning to understand something of how they will illuminate their world. Keith, stepson of my nephew, Jay — who sits in the pew behind him — was a frequent visitor of Margaret's. He has recently lost two front teeth and is awaiting adult ones to grow in.
Olivia is my grandniece, Jay's daughter. Margaret is her middle name. A grandmother's name is a good thing to carry into the future.
My friend Craig's children — Craig Andrew, left, and Isabel, right — attend the service. There is nothing compelling them to attend, which makes their presence all the more special.