Had a Good Time Crying at Your House
By Ken Johnson
Once, when my nephew was visiting my family’s home, he fell and hurt his arm. He was three years old and so he cried and he went to each family member to show his hurt arm. We individually checked the arm, massaged it and wrapped the arm in a bandage. As he and his parents were leaving, he turned and said, "I had a good time crying at your house."
My mother Sylvia Johnson passed away after a long traumatic illness on October 15. I did not know what or how to chant for her for a long time because there was no cure for her major illness and she was in so much pain — physically and mentally. In the nursing home, I sang and talked to her and I believe I allayed her concerns about my future.
At the exact time my mother died, I was on my way home chanting to release my mother from the problems of this world, wish her well on her journey, and to see her in the next life. When I arrived home, I received the news.
As Mother wanted, she had a Catholic funeral as planned. The funeral was depressing.
The Buddhist memorial service was much different. It was held in Mollene's, my District Leader's, home. Members of my family were there and they met my Buddhist friends for the first time. They heard and chanted Nam Myoho-renge-kyo.
My chorus friends sang. One by one, my family shared memories of my mother. Members shared their warmth and compassion. Members told me that I was loved. We, the family, had such a good time and an enlightening experience. After the service, they wanted to know more.
Mollene and told her, "I had a good time crying at your house."