The thing about marriage is that when you marry for life, one partner will probably have to bury the other. It’s a somewhat depressing thought, actually, sobering is the better word for it. I like to remind myself of this fact every so often to make me appreciate the time that I have with my wife and to keep my priorities focused on what is truly important in life.

That being said, I write eulogies for my wife like some people write love poems. Hey, my wife knew the kind of romance that awaited her when she said “I do.” I figure it this way: 1) she gets to see the kind of things that I will say about her when she’s gone; and 2) she gets to veto some of the things that I will say. Here’s one example:

I lost my wife this week and Reese and Malcolm lost their mother.

But don’t be too sad for us.

I had to explain to them, like I had to explain to some of you, that she’s gone on to where she’d rather be. She’s gone on to what was the goal of her life: to be with her Savior, Jesus Christ.

So don’t be too sad for us.

We lived with her and we loved her on a daily basis. I’m not going to suddenly re-remember our life together through rose-tinted glasses, that is was pure bliss or anything like that. Our first year was tough. Let me tell you, living with me and loving me will test your capacity to love and remain sane. But I wrote something in my journal during our first year that summarizes all I want to say about our life together.

5/14/2000
A memory of my wife:

Tonight we stayed up until 10:30 pm watching the movie Clockers. My choice on the movie, a Spike Lee joint about inner city drug dealers, the ‘clockers’ in question. She watched it with me, not because she had some burning urge to catch up on her Spike Lee movies, but because she wanted to spend time with me, watching what interests me, learning what I like, and simply being with me.

She loves me, what can I say?

She then went upstairs to feed the four kittens she brought home Friday. You see, she comes home and says “Honey, I’m baby sitting this weekend” knowing a) that I’m immediately thinking that we are watching her brother’s seven kids and b) I have such a great love for kids. She then whips out this box of constant meowing. In the wife handbook, I believe that is rule #37: don’t give your husbands a choice. Had she called home to ask “can we watch these four kittens, abandoned by their mother at my job, where they are likely to be crushed by all the cars that we move about, and whom no one else could watch?” OF COURSE I WOULD HAVE SAID NO! So she just brought them home. We took them along with us during our normal Friday night: to the movies, then over to a friends’ house. Saturday they ran errands with us. Sunday they watched movies with us.

She loves animals, what can I say?

One of our errands Saturday was working out together, so her muscles were sore. She convinces me to give her an oil massage. So I straddle her torso and begin to rub her back and shoulders. I work my way down to her legs as she lets out contented moans. She starts to caress my legs. Then what does she do? She accidently farts. She tries to keep a straight face, but she can’t stop laughing. Which only makes her fart again. Which makes me laugh. I kiss her good night because we’d only end up staying up and laughing like Beavis and Butthead the rest of the night.

She loves our marriage, what can I say?

Of course we’re not perfectly suited for each other. We have little in common. Don’t like the same stuff. Don’t have the same temperaments. We just work. I can’t explain it. I guess that’s the mystery of love. And marriage. Two people not perfectly suited, because neither was perfect to begin with.

I know what you’re saying. Did he just say fart at his wife’s funeral? Yeah, I said it. I read her what I planned to read at her eulogy as one of our date nights. Yeah I know, there’s nothing more romantic than a husband coming up with stuff to say at his wife’s funeral while she’s trying to eat dinner. But I figured she’d want to know what I thought about her while she was still here and she could tell me to reign it in a little if need be. So she knew exactly what I was going to say.

So don’t be too sad for us.

Yeah, we’ll grieve and we’ll miss her, but when we took our vows, we said until death do us part. We realized that one of us might survive the other. That one day we might die. So we lived and loved as if each day was our last. And we grieve, not just for our loss, but for yours too. She was a daughter, a sister, an aunt, and a friend. She was my wife and Reese and Malcolm’s mother. But she was God’s child first. She’s with her Savior now. And we will see her again.

What did Sally end up saying? She vetoed anything that involved her farting. She didn’t want that to be people’s last memory of her.

(yeah, right, that’s my favorite part of the eulogy)