I was determined.
I was focused.
I was going to be strong for my family.
And I failed miserably. The day started off great. It was a perfectly clear day. The sun was shining and I felt really confident I'd be able to hold it together for the funeral. I knew that my grandma and mom needed me to be strong. My mom, dad and I laughed all the way down to Harrison. The day was still going great.
We entered the funeral home and were seated near the door. I had a direct view of my uncle and grandma. This was where the whole day went south. I held it together for about 2.5 seconds. The tears were immediate and uncontrollable. I watched them splash onto my black jacket and bead down to my legs. I bit the inside of my lip until I drew blood. I knew that I had to breathe for the baby and they all came out in the uh, uh, uh gasps. Watching my uncle and grandma wipe their eyes was the worst part. My grandma is the strongest woman I know and seeing her so upset took it's toll on me. My family is incredibly close and amazingly in-touch with our emotions. My mom and dad flanked me on both sides. I could see through some really blurry eyes the tears streaming down my mom's face. Crap. I turn to my dad. Tears. Double crap.
The funeral director noticed the little pregnant girl crying and brought me some tissues. So much for being strong. When we stepped out of the funeral home after our 'good-bye' I was thankful for the sun that dried up the tears. As I looked around in our family we had 2 pregnant and one just delivered. The circle of life... we had good odds. 3 to 1... it still didn't make it any easier saying goodbye.
We decided to hit O'Charley's for lunch with my aunt, uncle and cousin. We toasted Aunt Clara, her cackle and summer's at the Dairy Bar. We laughed about the past 20 years and all of our memories. The time uncle Kris fell backwards down the stairs, ripping our handrail off in the process... his famous last words, "ohhhhhhhhhh... I'm gonna fall." We talked about all the parties we threw when my mom and dad went out of town. I'm glad she thinks they are funny now : ) We laughed about mailboxes, guardrails, front yards and even girls feet... which have all been run over at some point or another. We laughed about company parties and Uncle Kris' gymnastics efforts. It was the perfect ending to a rough day.
I'm blaming my over-active tear glands on the baby and hope that I don't have to experience anything like this for a very long time. It's so amazing to be experiencing the miracle of life and have this tiny person growing inside of you and at the same time experience the low's of death. Aunt Clara knew where she was going and was even re-baptized in the river Jordan. She knew. I know. God is good, Life is good.
Hoping everyone has a safe holiday!
I was determined.