Well, apparently the unsilence will continue. I'm hopeful that it will involve less yelling. I yelled at people 3 times during Lent, which is more than I have yelled in the last 10 years put together. But I've come to believe that my silence was in its own way a sin, and you really aren't supposed to pick your sins up again when Lent is over!
As a kick-off for continuing unsilence, I ended up somewhat in the role of family spokesperson during my grandmother's death and funeral this past week. She was 99 years old, had lived a full and serving life and made lots of people laugh. As my African students said, "Oh! 'Tis such a blessing!" Her last little bit was not a high quality of life and we are joyful that she has moved on to her mansion. I cannot possibly say enough good things about The Arbors in Amarillo where she lived for the last few years. What a gracious and loving staff. They were all in and out of her room frequently for the last week just to tell her they loved her, and as soon as her spirit left us, her room was filled with tearful nurses, aides, and others. It is humbling to realize that on a day-to-day basis, that staff will experience her loss more painfully and frequently than I will.
It felt a bit strange to be the one answering questions and making choices and speaking at gatherings since I have always felt like the odd-cousin-out. But Grandma and I bonded a lot when I was in college and beginning to date since she was also beginning to date after almost 20 years of widowhood. And the fact is that I was the one who was able to be there to step up alongside my dad during those few days. I will always be grateful that God --and my most excellent husband-- allowed that. It was a joy to remember and honor so much good and so much fun, and it was also a delight to meet one cousin I had never met!