Kate sat in the front pew of the church, next to John’s parents and Spencer. Various other family members and the group from Scott Air Force Base, including CO Connors sat in rows behind and to the right of them. She tried not to cry whenever she heard someone else sniff. Be strong. She stared at the bouquets of carnations and roses, several arrangements in the red, white and blue colors of their beloved country. Several peace lilies, with their huge white blooms in stark contrast to their dark green leaves adorned the stage along with other house plants that she didn’t recognize.
The pastor talked of peace and a reunion of some kind in heaven when those who also knew Jesus would one day be together again. Kate had heard John talk a little about religion, but she had never thought much about what she believed. And right now she didn’t want to think about it. She was so angry that John was gone and left her behind. She had so many questions and would never get the answers. It felt like she was left hanging with nowhere to turn. As far as funerals went, John’s service seemed to be more uplifting than others she’d attended. That gave her food for thought as she followed the line winding into the fellowship hall.
After the service, Spencer and Kate and a few others had lunch with John’s family. His mother, Mrs. Kern, had said she heard so much about her, and Kate wondered how much John had said. “Kate, I know the next few weeks will be difficult for you, but please feel free to call me if you like.” Mrs. Kern handed Kate a lavender envelope with a scent that reminded her of a spring garden. “You can open this later.” Mrs. Kern squeezed Kate’s hand and said she’d be praying for her. Kate said thanks, wondering if John had been in love with her or not. Now she would never know, and that hurt most of all. And then she wondered why his mom would be praying for her. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
After eating what little she could get down, she said goodbye to John’s parents and left. She was anxious to get out of her blues and to have a good cry by herself. Spencer called after her, but she kept her pace, ignoring him. Confused and hurt, she made a quick getaway. She needed to be alone.
Until next time,