The Presbyterian way of dealing with death is through a Celebration of Life. Commending a soul on to the afterlife. Erupting from the junction of two large, very Presbyterian families, I’ve known the passing of a loved one to be a time when the family rejoined, shared stories, shared food and shared friendship. Yes, we’d lost a brother or sister or mother or father or aunt or uncle. But, the kingdom of Heaven had gained one. And we knew our loved one was now at peace.

Last night during the viewing, many tears were shed. Kitty’s friends and family will all miss her. But along side the tears, many laughs were shared. Those who knew and loved my mom can’t help but laugh when they think of her. From her bossing around her “daughter” Frankie and berating her endlessly for breaking her finger in the infamous “rolled it up in the window” incident to 3 o’clock phone calls and “Of course I’m asleep, and you should be too!”

Stories of Kitty’s first “car date.” Going to the Ritz Theater in an Austin Mini — a double date, no less — to see Disney’s Cinderella.

Remembering Nell’s admonition “If you kids are going to fight like that you’re going to have to go outside!”

We’ll all miss you, mom, but we won’t forget you. I’m sure you’ll be there with us later this morning as we continue to celebrate your life. I hope you like the penguin.

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