When my mother died, my brother-in-law was worried that her three daughters ("the sisters") would burst into tears at the funeral. I told him that I was afraid that we would burst out with inappropriate laughter, remembering some of our mom's more bizarre moments.

A few years ago, my youngest sister's best friend died suddenly and unexpectedly. At the funeral, all her friends that spoke mentioned memories they had formed from knowing her as an adult: a caring, giving, Christian woman who influenced all those she associated with. "The sisters" remembered her as a mischievous child, adventurous teen, and unfettered adult who lived her life to the fullest.

When one of my fellow teachers that I had attended school with retired, I cried. When he left, he took part of my past with him. He was the only person I could go to and say "Do you remember . . ." and he would know exactly who/what I was talking about.

I just returned from a funeral visitation for someone who was a best friend throughout junior and senior high school. She, also, died suddenly and unexpectedly. Looking around at the people who had come to honor her memory, I saw those who had worked with her, who had been in organizations with her, who had known her as a wife and mother. There was no one there who had spent the night at her house (the first time I had seen striped wallpaper!), put up with her bratty brothers, admired/feared her dad, shared secrets and aspirations.

So, I guess my point is this: we view everything from our own perspectives. Mine is that my past is slowly disappearing and that soon there will not be anything/anyone to let my grandchildren know that once I, too, was a viable, vibrant, eager, innocent youth with an "anything is possible" future before me. And that makes me sad.