I genuflect and wobble. Incense stings my throat. Holy water splats on her coffin. Old voices, chanting, float around me. Dark, polished, hard wood pews and walls. Air is orange glow from candles by the altar. October cold, hiding in the shade of the canopy at the church cemetery, watching Dad at the edge of her grave. Shoulders slumped. Looking down. The last to leave her. Three years later, December snow. I hold his triangle-folded flag and am the last to leave him at the same cemetery.
Last week Joan linked to a telling at Jaded Haven that gave me chills, even as a non-parent. I made one attempt at step-parenting that might be future blog fodder. I have nothing but respect for those who chose that path.
And, I just noticed that Gia, one of the famous Haiku Challengers at Sparrow's, was surprised with a birthday party for her 5-0-th. Give good wishes. She is a beautiful lady, mom, grandma and dispatcher.