Marleen in the garden


When the doors opened, people poured in to celebrate the life of a woman. This woman gave with a whole heart, baked bread, birthed babies, weeded gardens, drove a tractor, wrote disciplinary letters to her children, walked with a walker, smiled with her whole face, and loved outrageously.

My Mother.

Mother’s death brought us together on this day and time. This woman, she, the wheel, the rest of us, the spokes, all gathered to say goodbye and remember her as we knew and understood her. Each one had a story and came together to tell it and laugh and remember.

It was electric. A connection was made by voice, sight, sound, and touch.

We had three days to get it orchestrated. We referenced numerous pieces of paper Mom left with the details on who, how, and where the event should be held. Ingenius on her part, as we followed her wishes to a T. She got what she wished for, and we, for sure, we did. We got it done with the many details in getting the word out, check the church, how much food, who digs the earth for the grave, arrange transportation, whether it will rain, etc.

My family is not at all similar. Some like church, others, not so much, and then the boundless opposing ideologies about culture, lifestyle, parenting, education, where to live, how to live, who likes what, who does not, and will the Vikings ever win; a SuperBowl! (I just threw that in).

Even without similarities, I felt a glorious people connection during the hours at the church and then especially at the gravesite. We connected. Maybe it was an eye roll, a handshake, a word, laughter, whatever. I felt the presence and energy, and spirit of the crowd around me. Maybe it was that we were in one thought, all standing around the gravesite and extending our gratitude to our mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother, and friend by plucking a flower from the large bunch resting on the casket.

We loved her.

Mom connected us, and that day by the gravesite, I felt safe, loved, and embraced by everyone around me.




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Marleen Geyen

The best part of me shows up in my writing about business ownership, leadership, family, personal relationships, travel and what I learn from human interaction.