Bryan and I had the sad privilege of attending a memorial service last night. For those who may have known him, Mike Smith- father to Matt, Jeremiah, Jethro and Charlie- passed away suddenly and unexpectedly August 17th.
The service was a beautfiul celebration of family and friends, but there were two moments which stand out. My first glimpse of Roseanne, Mike's widow, standing in the front row bereft of her other half. She looked lovely in a way that was deepened by her grief. My heart ached as I imagined that loss. I stood closer to my husband and felt his arm slide protectively around my shoulders, as if he sensed my feeling of vulnerability.
The final song began, "You Raise Me Up," by Josh Groban. The music and lyrics are hauntingly beautiful. I listened to the first verse with my eyes closed, thinking about Mike's life and his loved ones. I opened my eyes to look at his family and saw a small figure moving about on the floor between the seats and the platform. Alaina, Jethro's daughter, was spinning. She must be 6 or so. I watched as she twirled in her light blue summer dress, and I realized that she was not just playing but dancing with spins and curtsies for her grandpa. The song ended and she turned towards the platform where his ashes rested and bowed.