Saturday, February 21, 2015

When The Surreal Becomes Reality

Chapel of Peace at West Laurel Hill Cemetery
My wife and I (my wife more than I) have spent the last week trying to prepare ourselves for today. Throughout the week, my wife was fielding daily texts and phone calls from family asking for her opinion on how things should be arranged. I was asked on one occasion but, being that I didn’t feel it was appropriate for me to decide anything, I respectfully declined to offer my opinion. With everything going on and all preparations being made there was still nothing that we could have prepared us for this moment this morning.

We arrived at the cemetery a few minutes after 10 finding one of the last remaining spots near the entrance to the chapel. The baby was quiet the entire ride over and we were expecting him to get a little fussy when we finally made it inside and found a few seats. The room was already beginning to fill up with family, friends, and former coworkers so we found a place off to the side and prepared for the noise to erupt from below the car seat cover.

While I was sitting watching the baby my wife was greeting those who walked over to offer their condolences and congratulations while I just kept thinking about this whole surreal experience. The people and memories kept coming... I can’t imagine what it was like for my wife. By the time the service started there were well over 100 people there listening to my wife’s uncle conduct the service… a role his is very familiar with even if this was not the kind of conducting with which he was familiar.

Throughout the service, I couldn’t help but think about all the times that we would meet somewhere for dinner or stop by the house and she would be ranting about something or someone. There were times when the two of us would argue about things but with each of us always ending up coming to the conclusion that we simply had slightly different views. She was someone that I always respected for both her opinionated nature and intelligence. This was something that was reciprocated time and again.

It is hard to think that those times are but memories at this point and that our son will only know her through pictures and stories. But he will know who she was and the family from which she came. And while she may not be able to hold him like his other grandparents, there is no doubt that she is looking over him… maybe that is why he was so quiet and calm throughout the morning. Quiet and calm despite some of the things I am sure she was saying about the service and some of the people there. I am sure she had a few things to say about the snow which began to fall shortly before the service ended as well.