The little things

Mama left us 2 weeks ago. She died about 6:45am on 24 May. That day and the ones immediately following were filled with handling the details such as talking with funeral homes (yes plural since she was buried “back home” which is almost 5 hours away), talking with the priest, contacting family, etc. One moves on autopilot and mostly manages to avoid feeling for a couple of days.

Today, we took 3 of our granddaughters to Callaway Gardens. As I grabbed a straw for my drink at lunch I noticed it was a bendy straw. That’s what I kept a stash of in my purse for my mother and my grandson, Henry. I won’t need those straws as often nowadays… a small wave of sadness washed over me.

After lunch we visited the butterfly house. As I was Genevieve wander around, trying to get pictures another wave rolled over. Just two springs ago my daughter and I put Genevieve (then almost 5) and baby Henry, and Mama in the car and made a trip to Callaway where I had a wonderful time¬†with a 5 year old and an 85 year old fascinated by the butterflies… both wanted me to print pictures of the butterflies for them after the trip. Another sad smile — wonderful memory. I miss her.

Last week at the beach I looked at the walls in the bedroom at the condo and remembered that Mama had loved the color so much that she went home and had her bedroom at home painted the same color.

I wear the ring she gave me — a combination of 2 rings: one from my father and a fancy ring guard from my step-father. She told me she hoped I would enjoy it as much as she had. Another reminder…

It’s bittersweet. I wouldn’t trade these things for the world.

Family Wedding

We just returned from a quick weekend trip to Block Island (RI) to celebrate my brother-in-law’s wedding. This is a second chance for both of them and it was a wonderful occasion and opportunity for the joining of 2 families. It’s fun to watch the adult children offer the toasts and to see the way the four of them have bonded. I know it can work, because my family expanded from 3 in our generation to 6 when I was in my 30’s. We are one family.

But I had a moment of slight sadness. Watching the cousins (the bride and groom’s children and their cousins who made it to the event) I so wished that the southern cousins (our 3) could have been there. They get together maybe every 2 or 3 years at the beach in the summer, and all showed up for each of our 3 weddings. I was sorry that David, Marie and Daniel (and their spouses) were unable to make the trip. It always does my heart good to see them together.

There is a bond there that sometimes seems a mystery to me. They know that they are connected despite differences and distances. Wouldn’t it be a better world if this kind of connection existed in abundance the world over? We are all one grand family in this world, but how easily we can forget the connection. Or maybe, like me, we often feel so very disconnected.

So — here’s to connectedness. Here’s to the fun of seeing blended families that work. Here’s to seeing a former sister-in-law that I haven’t seen in more than 15 years (and it was really great to see her and no, she wasn’t at the wedding, just happened to be at the same place earlier in the day). Here’s to self-written vows, a justice of the peace and a glass stomped in true Jewish tradition.