Thursday, April 10, 2008

Every now and then I remember an event or person and think "I can't believe I forgot that." One of those events was in May, between the announcement of Sergeant Bordelon's death and his interment at Arlington.

Sometime in March or maybe early April, Richard had gotten the idea that he wanted to have a sort of open house to thank the people who had helped us, materially and spiritually, in the days and weeks after Thomas's death. The major difficulty was that we had not kept any sort of list of who those people were. Some were obvious: the folks who brought us food came back to mind pretty well. But the people who just passed through offering their condolences and sometimes their memories of Thomas, or the man who left his Bronze Star with us (he had earned it in Viet Nam but he felt that Thomas deserved it more than he did), those people were harder to find. We compiled a list and sent out invitations; though I forgot to tell people to please pass the word they did it anyway. This is what happens when your friends are drawn from a pool of volunteers. I'm sure we missed someone which bothers me but we did what we could to reach everyone.

And the day itself was lovely! The sun came out (we thought this might be Thomas's first miracle, though in Iraq his friends were compiling other stories of his intervention). People came and ate and drank and laughed as we felt ourselves thawing out, rejoining life. It was still hard, but it was becoming more apparent every day that some things that had been impossible to contemplate in the beginning were beginning to feel doable. I'm sitting in my backyard now typing, just where we had our little party. The sun is out and the squirrels are being their usual nutty selves. There is still bamboo growing back here that Thomas and his friend Brian had planted when they were in fifth grade and trying to build a fog pond (successfully). At the party too, we felt surrounded by happy memories of our son and brother and friend.

Though we knew we were going to be attending the service at Arlington, we still felt more hopeful about the future than we had for the previous six months.



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