My mother-in-law’s funeral was lovely. I know people say that—”Oh, wasn’t it nice!”—and it always seems weird to me because what exactly is nice about a body in a box? But it was the perfect mix of respectful and irreverent. I think she would’ve approved.
We flew home first thing on Friday morning, and drove straight from the airport to the hospital. Half an hour of paperwork later, Chickadee was free and clear. She hugged us and chatted on and on and bounced through most of the ride home. Once there, we sorted through a week’s worth of mail while Chickie began digging around in her room for… I’m not sure what, really… until I reminded her that her friends were coming.
The mess was stuffed back into her dresser and closet, and we went to the grocery store to pick out a few gallons of ice cream. The bouncing continued. Back at home, pizzas were ordered, paper plates unearthed, and not too long after, the house was filled with the shrieks of teenage girls. Otto and I withdrew to the living room while the girls swarmed the porch, the kitchen, and then later, upstairs. We let them have their time. It was only when the girl who faithfully wrote to Chickie at the hospital was in the kitchen, alone, getting more ice cream, that I dared to sneak in and murmur to her, “Have as much as you want. In fact, you ever need ice cream this year? You come on over any time. I mean it. You are always welcome here.” (more…)