Monday, October 8, 2007
I went to a funeral yesterday...a cousin I grew up with but did not know as an adult. I visited with him briefly last year at a family event he sat alone and seemed quiet and sad. I wish I would have said more, taken the time to sit with him and learn about him as a grown-up.
Richard, where ever you are I am sorry that I did not take the time to know you better. I am sorry that I had to get to know you through a eulogy and wake stories. I understand now that you were worth getting to know, a gentle and loving man who took good care of his family and friends. You worked hard and loved to cook and eat just like my girl. I did to you what people did to Stevie I avoided you in your quiet solitude and I missed what could have been a really wonderful relationship, an opportunity to speak with someone incredible.
The wake was held at My Aunts house. My brother and I drove together and it felt really good to be with him, talking and hanging out. I was proud to stand next to him and call him my brother, my family, a good and wonderful man.
We stayed late and ate and ate. My aunt cooked all my cousins favorite dishes, there was pulled pork, corn bread stuffing, mashed potato's, greens, pies, salads, rolls deserts and really good beer. I don't eat meat but I didn't miss out there was plenty of delicious things for me to enjoy.
I was afraid to go the service, thought it was too early, it would be too sad, and I would fall apart. Instead I was held and loved, I was brought back into a family that I had known as a young girl. I felt like no time had passed. In a moment of great pain and sadness my aunt embraced me and whispered such loving words to me. We shared my childhood and now we both know the loss of a child.
There were so many new babies, new wrinkles, and old stories. I drank too much, ate two pieces of pie and went home feeling very loved.
I am not sure any of them will ever get a chance to read this or if we will all keep our promise to be more present in each others lives. I am going to write this in hopes that the love I feel some how finds them.
Thank you for being my family, for loving me and making me feel like I belong.