Wednesday, June 20, 2007
The Sound of Silence
I have been quiet about Harry's first birthday, I know. And not just here-- in his baby book, too-- I still have to fill out the very last page-- the one about his "Onederful" party. And it WAS wonderful-- so many family members, some excellent pizza, and lots of gooey fun with Harry and his smash cake (his second smash cake, by the way, because Ben accidentally smashed the first one). On the way home from the party, however, there was an accident, and Ben's grandfather passed away.
I haven't known what to do or say-- and not just here-- in real life, too, trust me. We got home from the wake and funeral, which were everything you'd think they would be-- cathartic and sad-- today. So many people came to pay their respects that police officers had to direct traffic outside the funeral home, and the funeral director said he stopped counting after the 860th person signed the guest book.
Standing in the cemetary today dodging locusts and watching one of his great aunts cheerfully wrangling a squirming, teething, off-his-schedule Harry, I realized that I was happy to have married into such a huge, close knit family, that it really is amazing to watch a group of people close ranks around each other, shielding the little kids from too many details while making sure the grown ups remember to laugh a little here and there, and that if a nasty, red-eyed cicada landed on or near me, I was going to scream so loud no one would be able to hear the bugler playing "Taps." Also? We both realized that we want our own big loud family, which might mean more children than Harry and the perfect sister we imagine he'll have. Who knows? Maybe I'll be the proud mother of 4 boys someday-- and how could I ever keep myself from trying for 5 so I could have my own basketball team?
To think that this kind man who was treasured by his family and friends could be standing in my garrish yellow bedroom, or watching my baby smear frosting in his own eyes, or patiently waiting for Ben to run down to the car with a handful of baby food jar M&M favors (with Harry's picture on the label because I am nothing if not committed to my crafts) one minute and could be... gone...the next is unsettling to say the least. We will never forget Harry's first birthday party, and not for the reasons we thought we'd remember it.
But we'll remember it for those reasons, too, and here are a few pictures to show you what a lovely day it was.