I thought I had posted since the 14th and, since Blogspot is trying to get us all to switch to their new version, I thought for a moment that I had lost a post, but rereading the last one, yeah, I haven't posted since then. I compose posts in my mind all the time--luckily for everyone most of these musings never see the light of day--and I think I had just mentally hit the publish button!
Approaching Christmas is hard. Thomas was pretty enthusiastic about Christmas and got to spend all of his Christmases in the Army at home. 2004 would have been our first one without him anyway since he was supposed to be stuck in Iraq. Now whenever I think about that day, it's as if there is a long violin note (Smetana maybe? according to my husband) sounding in my ears. This note does not resolve--there is no relief at the end, just acceptance.
The custom in this area is food after the funeral. My PTA friends had taken this over early on. One of the women who had paralleled me through many years of kids in school is also a professional chef : she organized a sort of gigantic potluck involving folks who had never met before because they all came from different circles in our lives. We used the fellowship hall of a local Baptist church because my former next-door neighbor was a member there and the space was available. (I'd also attended several Bible studies there so I knew some of the other members as well. ) So, after the interment, around 200 people drove back down to New Hampshire Avenue to the Colesville Baptist Church for a luncheon. My friend Steve was once again taking pictures which really helps in remembering this--they are on film though and the scanner and I don't get along well. People who had never met before sat at tables and talked and ate, some came and sat with us and talked and ate. One of the pictures shows our casualty assistance officer sitting along the wall with her plate in her uniformed lap, happily eating (she is a Baptist) and finally relaxing a bit. I'm so glad we got to have that luncheon--here on the border of the South, it is known as a repast--it did allow us to say goodbye to a few of the people who had travelled so far to support us, including a number of Thomas's friends who were in college.
Finally, at about 2 or maybe 3 o'clock, we went home. We had asked the family members and some of our oldest friends to come to the house and there we sat and talked and finally let ourselves laugh a little.