Elvis

When I was a little girl, my mom proclaimed that she wanted Elvis to sing “When the Saints Go Marching In” at her funeral. Weird I thought as I marched around trying to imitate Elvis. Years later this topic came up again. We can play Elvis on my boom box in the church… Later I was impressing my parents with my ability to pull up any song on the Internet and play it back on my phone. We made a play list of Mom’s funeral songs.  “I never said I wanted ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’.” “Yes you did- I clearly remember it.” My dad shrugged his shoulders, “I’m staying out of it- I have no idea what she said.” “I might have said, ‘How Great Though Art’  by Elvis.”  “Ok so which is it?” “Well clearly ‘How Great Though Art’.” Whatever- I know what she said, but I corrected the funeral Playlist.   When the time came, I knew exactly who to call. One of my good friends was going to be our perfect “Elvis”. My dad freaked out…I think he literally thought I had asked my friend, a young man with a deep, beautiful voice to impersonate Elvis. “Meanwhile could you learn Ave Maria in Latin?”  A day later a friend called and said that mother had asked her to sing “On Eagle’s Wings” at her funeral. Then my sister wanted her friend to sing a song.  On Christmas day, 2 days after my mom died, my dad was about to flip. It was getting too complicated, and he couldn’t get past the Elvis impersonator. Trust me, Dad…   My sister’s friend beautifully sang “Amazing Grace” as the honorary pall bearers- the original Bridge Club walked in. Our friend, who mom had personally chosen, sang “On Eagle’s Wings” as my brother carried my mom’s ashes and we walked in. My closest-thing-to-Elvis and dear friend sang “Ave Maria” during communion, and we walked out to “How Great Though Art “. My uncle delivered a lovely eulogy, and many people were gathered to give my mom a beautiful farewell. She knew the songs she wanted to have sung, and we were blessed with all the beautiful voices to sing them. Christmas sounds like lousy timing, but it was her favorite time of the year, and somehow it just seemed fitting. It was a beautiful funeral…

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