Saturday, June 6, 2009

First Steps

Any person who had the exquisite good fortune of knowing my mom-in-law would not chalk up the diametric differences between yesterday's weather and today's, here 'neath the snow globe, to mere coincidence. The day on which her family and loved ones gathered as one for a final farewell to her dawned ugly and remained ugly throughout. The goodbye kiss was sealed by the soft, summer rain. Due to her request to be cremated and not buried, all of us who gathered for her funeral mass yesterday morning were spared having to endure the climatic insult Mother Nature heaped upon an already-gaping injury. No one assembled at a graveside in the pouring rain. We simply traveled from the funeral mass to the repast.

And because yesterday's weather in these parts was so inclement her life's great love - Joe - did not have to add a side of guilt to the full plate of anguish that had been ordered up for him by wondering for even a split second about what was going on at the golf course Somerset County pays him to manage while he was attending to the heart wrenching business at hand. Similarly, Suzy B.'s brother, Margaret's Uncle Mike, whose great passion is golf, would not have been able to get out and play yesterday - even if he was not otherwise engaged. If you knew Suzy B. then you know that a woman who lived her life putting others first was gazing down upon us all yesterday afternoon with a look of relief etched upon her face. Neither Joe nor Unc would have spent a moment anywhere yesterday other than where they did - regardless of the weather and regardless of the fact that yesterday broke each one of their hearts more than just a little - but there remains little doubt in my mind that she went a bit more contented than she would have thinking that her funeral was keeping those she loved from other pursuits.

Today, on the other hand, dawned bright and beautiful. The weatherman says that we are going to have a day chock full of sun and a day in which the temperature reaches 80+ degrees. Dawn brought with it this morning the first day of the rest of his life to her husband and her partner of forty-nine plus years and, knowing no doubt how much he dreads it (and hopefully to an ever-diminishing degree) all of those that shall follow it, she has sent Joe a day the composition of which may help to lift his spirits as he begins this leg of his journey. A leg of the journey in which his life's great love will walk not beside him but shall look down upon him and guide him.

It is not going to be an easy journey for him to make and it is one he never wanted to make. She cannot change the latter. No one can. She can however help him with the former - as all of us who know and love him can. And today, to help us help him she has ordered up a heaping helping of sunshine.

And I say it's alright.


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