A Walk Down a Garden Path: Would You Go With Me?

It was a trip we had planned months ago, and my husband told me we really had to go, even though I wasn't feeling too festive. My mother-in-law had bought us tickets to see a play on Friday night at the Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown, PA (a comedy, thank goodness). And so we went, even though it was the day after my oldest sister's funeral and I was feeling preoccupied and sorrowful, to say the least.

We started with a wonderful dinner at Rizzo's of Windber: antipasto and spaghetti with meatballs. As I ate the delicious antipasto, practically moaning at how good it was, I thought wryly of the title I gave to the photo that time I blipped it: antipasto to die for. Or antipasto worth living for, I thought to myself; noting that grief (and apparently all other things) makes me very, very hungry. It was so, so good.

And then we went to the Mountain Playhouse, and since we had plenty of time before the show, I walked all around with my camera, taking pictures. There is a little lake there, and a shower had just passed through. So the sky was doing some neat things, and we were grateful for the late-day light (and I was likewise grateful for the Crocs on my feet, as the grass was soaking wet).

The Mountain Playhouse is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. It opened its doors on June 24, 1939. The venue is actually a restored 1805 gristmill, and it is now a nonprofit organization. It is Pennsylvania's oldest professional summer-stock theater company.

I've included two photos I took there. The one above was taken along the lake, and I thought the reflections were very nice. There were many flowers along the path, and had it been earlier in the day, there might have been butterflies. The picture in the extras was nearer to the main building where we saw the play, and I thought it looked charming: the tiny rustic structure and the little pathway winding through the trees.

I want to tell you how I felt about the beauties I saw there. First, I was happy to see something beautiful, after a week so full of sorrow. Second, I felt guilty for being happy about ANYthing. Third, I was angry about the pretty things because I suddenly thought - it's not fair, my sister will never get to see this. And fourth, I was deeply sorrowful about all of what my sister will miss, now and throughout the rest of my life.

This grieving thing is complicated, and the range of emotions can be overwhelming. I exhausted myself over the simplest of things: trying to enjoy some of the beauties of this world. But I remind myself that anywhere I go, my sister goes, for now - as always - I carry her in my heart. She will always go with me.

Then we went in and saw the play, and I am happy to report that I laughed plenty. In fact, I laughed longer and louder than I probably should have. It was a romantic comedy, and just what we needed. So in the end, I was very glad I went!

It is my custom to pick a soundtrack song to accompany my pictures, and so here is one from the playlist my little sister and her daughter put together for my oldest sister's funeral. I loved this song the moment I heard it years ago, and I was happy to be reminded of it again, even if I was hearing it upon a very sad occasion this time: Josh Turner, with Would You Go With Me. I'll include one of the verses below.

Would you go with me if we rode the clouds together
Could you not look down forever
If you were lighter than a feather
Oh, and if I set you free, would you go with me

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