Filed under: memories, New York, New York City, people, Viola Carrington, Wave Hill, Woodlawn Cemetery
I realized that I at least had to write something to let people know that I was alive and well. OK, I’m going through the motions really. I did not want to go much longer without letting those that read this on a regular basis know how much my family and I appreciated your notes, messages and prayers during the past few days.
One story directly related to this past week… The senior pastor at the church I grew up in requested that he do the funeral service. He also requested that he attend the disposition of my grandmother’s body at Woodlawn Cemetery. Due to the fact that he wanted to perform the service, Granny’s funeral was moved to Friday morning, with the viewing taking place on Thursday evening instead of Wednesday.
Having driven to New York in the pouring rain on Wednesday (at one point portions of the metro New York area were in a flood warning), it would have been extremely difficult for many people to attend the viewing. Thursday evening turned out to be one of the calmest days that the city had seen in a while. Friday morning at Butler Memorial United Methodist Church there was not a cloud in the sky and it was unseasonably warm. I had not stepped foot inside of the church since I left for college. The simple interior was relaxing and nothing had changed since going there as a child, except for the reason for being there.
Then Rev. Samuel gave his sermon and it was one of the nicest things I’d ever heard about anyone. He had been visiting my grandmother on a regular basis for years and said that there were times where he felt as though he was the one being ministered to and not him ministering to my grandmother. My mother went up to him afterwards and asked if she could get a copy of the sermon. Rev. Samuel said he hadn’t written one, that he’d simply spoke and the words came out.
I went to Wave Hill on Saturday morning. One of the many things I gained from my grandmother is a love of plants and gardening. The property is one of the most beautiful hidden gems in the city of New York and one of the first things I think about whenever people ask how I could have grown up in New York with all of its congestion and gridlock. The home was once a residence for both Theodore Roosevelt and Mark Twain among others.
It’s known for having bunnies that people rarely get a chance to see up close since they tend to run off if you get too close. Wandering around that morning I saw a brown bunny sitting eating some grass. I got within about 2 feet of the bunny and just watched it. It looked off at me and kept on eating. After about 5 minutes I finally felt like asking a question, looked at the bunny and said “So, how did you like the funeral yesterday?” The bunny stopped eating, looked up at me, turned its ears towards me and licked its chops. It sat there starting at me for about a minute, then turned back around and kept eating. A few minutes later, I decided it was time to go, so I said “I guess I’ll see you later on.” The bunny looked up again, turned around and hopped off into a set of bushes. Here is an image of said bunny, who sat quite patiently for its picture.
OK, so it was two stories. Thanks for indulging me. We’ll see if we can’t get back to normal, or at least normal enough, tomorrow. Those few images that I did take will be posted to my Flickr account late this evening.
Enjoy the day (and thank you),
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