Katie is grieving the passing of her son, Jake. With as much energy as she can muster, she has planned a wonderful service for the celebration of Jake’s life.
She will have the repast after the burial at her home, with food provided by members of her church who want to do something to help assuage her grief. There is just one fly in the ointment that is causing her so much added suffering: her daughter, Jill.
Jill needs to be in control of everything, and Katie is determined that Jill will not take control of Jake’s service. Jill has written up a different set of readings, songs, and order of service, and she has rented a room at the local IHOP for the repast after the service. She just believes that she knows better than her mother what is needed, and she means to have her way, as always.
Katie wearily picks up the phone to call Jill, for she knows that some unpleasantness cannot be helped. She dials, and as she listens for Jill to answer, she prays to God to give her the right words to say to her daughter that will help avoid an argument in which both of them might say words that they will regret later.
Jill answers, “Hello, Mama. I am glad you called. I have ordered the flowers for the service and my friends will leave early from the service, to get the restaurant ready. I will get the copies of the order of service printed tomorrow. You don’t need to do anything! I got it all covered!”
Sighing deeply, Katie says, “Jill, I love you, honey, but this was my child that we are burying. I have made the needed decisions. You are not going to take control of this service. I know you are trying to help, and that you feel like you need to control the service, especially as you could not control whether your brother lived or died. But we will do this my way!”
As the seconds ticked away and Jill did not say anything, Katie thought that she had hung up on her. But, finally, Jill responded, “Mama, I don’t understand why my baby brother had to die! He was a good person, and he didn’t deserve to die so young. I couldn’t do anything to help him! I am a manager at my job, in control of nearly everything and everybody, and yet, I could not use my power to save my brother.”
Katie said to her daughter, “Jill, some things in life we have no control over, and life and death is one of them. We often think we have control over our lives, but the reality is that only God knows what will happen and how each of our stories end. I truly appreciate what you wanted to do, but, please, don’t fight me on this.”
Jill answered, “We will do it your way, Mama! I will just make sure that everything runs smoothly as you have designed it. Is that okay?”
Katie, knowing that Jill had to feel that she was in control, whether that was the reality or not, simply thanked Jill for her help and understanding. Then, she hung up. At least, they will not be at odds this time!
Written for the Tale Weaver #206 from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie: Control.
Word of the Day Challenge is Power.