In 2001 on my 15th birthday a friend of my parents’ died in a motorcycle accident. He was in another town and on a road that I was unfamiliar with then; he hit a deer and was killed. Now that road is a quick jog from where I’m living and raising my family. I travel that road all the time, and I think often of him, and others that were killed on that road.
When I drive by the cross that was put out in his memory, with a Mountain Dew bottle (his favorite) attached to it; I can’t help but remember his outgoing spirit and the way he made people feel comfortable. Honestly I hardly knew him, but I could see love shining from within him.
This may seem silly to you if I were to describe him physically, because he had the fairly typical biker appearance, which does not scream ‘LOVE’. I think though, that sometimes, you just know good people by their love.
There were so many people at his funeral that the funeral home staff was frantically hooking up speakers and projecting the service outside so everyone could hear it, even if they didn’t fit in the building. I remember people mention that we were breaking some sort of fire code, although at the time I didn’t know what that meant.
I thought to myself, THIS is the kind of funeral I want to have, one where everyone shows up.
I hoped to myself that I would someday enter the gates of Heaven during the summer, and that the weather would be good so that a proper celebration of life could take place and people’s tears could be dried by the warm sunshine. I pictured in my head everyone I’d ever met standing around a bonfire later and sharing the stories about me that would turn my cheeks red and have me smiling and shaking my head from Heaven.
The day of that funeral I learned that you could pick your own music for your memorial. I just assumed that the pastor picked it or something, I didn’t know I was 15, remember!
I had to call my mom today to ask her the exact song; I knew it was “highway” something. She said it was “Highway to Hell”.
Now I realize there are certain venues where you might not be able to pick just any song to be played (especially one with the H-word in it), or maybe you die before you get the chance to talk to your loved ones about your wishes. I decided that day that I would plan my funeral so no one had to fight over the details or wonder what I would have wanted.
Fun Fact: The song “Born to be Wild” was released in 1968, I was born in 1986. See the flip-flop of the last two numbers? Yeah I’m weird like that, but I love quirky number stuff.
As a little girl I would ride around town on the back of my daddy’s motorcycle belting out the lyrics to this song at the top of my lungs. People would turn and stare at me, and I’d keep singing and smile back at them.
It’s just is my song. Always has been, and it just might always be.
I have some “safe” and traditional church songs that would also be fitting for my funeral, but this one I am imagining will be my sending song.
I hope our church worship and music director knows how to play it on the organ (or is a fast learner), because that would just be the best.
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