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In Remembrance

June 4, 2010

Memorial day was last Monday.  It was a day of uncertainty for my sister’s family.  We were all to gather at my parent’s house for dinner, games, and more food, and talking, and more food.  My sister’s husband was called away the night before because of a potential tragedy.  On Sunday, my brother-in-law’s step father went fishing.  He went fishing all the time, they lived near a lake.  He had a paddle boat and he would paddle around and fish by himself.  He had probably done this hundreds of times.  The problem with this scenario is he couldn’t swim.  My brother-in-law’s mother had gone about her day and around 5:00 began to wonder where her husband was.  When she found his wallet and cell phone on the counter, she had a pretty good idea what had happened.

She called the authorities and they found his paddle boat with his tackle box and his life jacket inside it drifting close to shore.  They found his fishing rod a ways away.  It had snagged on a tree or something.  They found his body on Tuesday.  Such a tragic loss.  Especially because the life jacket was in the boat.

Today was the funeral in Iowa.  I got the kids on the bus for afternoon kindergarten and Jeff and I hit the road.  We made it to the funeral just in time.  It was a peaceful catholic mass service.  We sang all of my favorite hymns, gave our condolences to my sister’s mother-in-law and got back in the car.

The drive was long, but beautiful.  Old Barns dotted the country side, their red faded to a deep maroon, weathered and wild.  Horses ran and snacked in the fields.  There were crops that were growing, and landscape as far as the eye could see.  We listened to MPR on the way out-of-town, Science Friday, until the radio was too crackle-y to hear, after that we switched to some Carbon Silicon, and some Bon Jovi.  I channeled the Squam Art Workshop again and worked on my baby blanket.  We chatted and laughed, and I so enjoyed my husband’s company.

We ended up stopping in a little town called Faribault for dinner.  We sat outside on the porch of an old building on main street.  We ordered fancy meals and ate like we hadn’t eaten in a week.  The food was delicious, the service was wonderful and the atmosphere was perfect.  After dinner we toured the town and Jeff showed me an old prestigious boarding school (for middle school and high school students) where he had gone to a hockey camp when he was young.  It is called Shattuck.  The campus is amazingly beautiful.  As were the quaint little houses that surrounded it.  We tooled around until we found the freeway again, and put some Rolling Stones in the player and off we went toward home.

I worry about losing my husband abruptly (or at all!) like my brother-in-law’s mother.  Jeff fishes a lot, and he goes alone quite often.  He doesn’t have a boat, but still.  I am sure he will some day.  I feel so bad for the loss of this man, and have sympathy for all the people who were close to him.  But I still feel like today was a gift.  A gift of time where Jeff and I could hang out together, without the kids, just us.  Like it used to be.  I miss that alone time with him.

Isn’t it strange what circumstances provide you with these moments?  In the murk there is the spark of gold if you look close enough.  Even funeral songs can become love songs if you let them.

  1. June 4, 2010 8:59 pm

    This is so beautiful, Meg. I really hate that such a sad thing happened, and I hate all the stories you hear about loved ones who die so unexpectedly. I do think that it’s so wonderful when we can take the moments with our loved ones and really appreciate them. I suppose that’s what they call living in the present. How loving for you to be there for your sister and brother-in-law, and that you got some precious child-free hours to enjoy that man of yours.

    • June 6, 2010 8:06 pm

      It really is tragic, isn’t it? I can’t really think too much about it, because it just scares me. Here’s to living in the present…cheers!

  2. June 5, 2010 3:06 am

    Oh how sad and awful!! :( I, too, worry about losing my husband unexpectedly,…or really, ANYONE in my immediate family. Although I can’t think about it too much because I get really freaked out.

    You painted a beautiful picture of how love swirls all about one’s head during such times.

    • June 6, 2010 8:05 pm

      I love the word swirls…it perfectly describes how I was feeling. Thank you!

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