Saturday, May 21, 2011

Four good-things and a funeral

I took a beautiful drive today, by myself, windows open and sunlight streaming. My destination was in southern Maryland, a beautiful area I barely know. In other circumstances the day would have felt like an adventure. It was the first day in memory that I had to myself, and I was driving to a funeral. It's been a season of deaths. And that's what I thought about as I drove down: have I reached the point where deaths are commonplace?

The funeral was beautiful in its sadness. The woman who died succumbed to a valiant and difficult fight against breast- then lymph- then brain cancer. I can never go to a funeral without imagine that it was mine: how would my family fare? Who would come, and what would they say? I left sad and feeling scrubbed clean, like I always do after a funeral. Because: I get to leave and my story continues on, and also because I've examined my saddest sadnesses and can go live again for a while in the land of happier thoughts.

4) So last night the lovely husband's lovely company really put on a beautiful family dinner. They thoughtfully had "Certificates of Achievement" for all the children present, thanking them for supporting the organization's mission with their love for their parents and tolerance of their long work hours. They had little toys and trinkets to keep the kids playing happily.

3) At one point, E got it in her head that she had to ask someone a question. She asked the lovely husband to show her who is in charge of everything. So the lovely husband walked her over to the CEO, a man in charge of a 60+ million dollar organization, and he squatted down to greet her. She got straight to the point: is there going to be another summer party? "Slumber party...? No, I don't think so, sweetie," he answered at first, having not heard her quite right in the banquet hall and probably imagining all the giggly sugar-hyped school-aged kids rolling out sleeping bags in the convention center foyer. "Summer party, summer party," the lovely husband clarified. Mr. CEO figured it out and quickly re-answered: "yes! Oh, yes, sweetie! We're doing the summer party again." E began jumping up and down and L who had trailed behind just for the fun of weaving through tables in the banquet hall asked what the excitement was and immediately began jumping up and down, too, and Mr. CEO high-fived them both.

2) I'm here typing, and you're there reading, so it appears the Rapture didn't happen today. All day I kept thinking what a good thing that was. As a Jewish girl, having the Rapture come would have meant incontrovertible proof that my life-long belief system was pretty flawed, and that I was therefore hellbound. That would have been awkward, huh?

1) But the good news about us all still being here on earth together is that one of my very favorite people still occupying this mortal sphere with me is celebrating a birthday tomorrow, and we won't have missed the opportunity to wish her a happy birthday. Happy birthday, Shan. I'm so glad you didn't get Raptured away from me.

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