Today we went to a funeral. We got up at oh-dark-thirty and somehow left the house only fifteen minutes later than we planned. And yes, we definitely left bowls of milk and cereal sitting on the table all day. We drove three hours to attend the graveside service for my great-grandfather on Meme’s side.
The kids did incredibly well. They cheerfully stood by the graveside and sang or bowed their heads when prompted. Afterward, I heard they actually helped with the burial, throwing clumps of dirt in while they laid Papa to rest. (There was a crowd of children who watched and helped respectfully, I think.)
Meanwhile, I took Willa back behind the van to pee in a cup, only somehow both of us got our shoes wet. That’s why God invented baby wipes: To get the pee off Mama’s high heels.
I wore my red heels because they’re comfortable, but mostly because I knew MeMe Robinson (Mira’s namesake) would have loved them. She was Papa’s wife of 64 years and she had sass and style and spirit in spades. The whole Robinson clan does. They love to laugh and play hard.
And they have a strong sense of family. All 71 children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren of Papa gathered to tell him goodbye.
After the sort of lunch that can only be prepared by little white-haired ladies from the church, we gathered for a memorial service. Finn had managed only a ten minute nap all day and was prepared to denounce us as infidels. Andrew wrestled him during the service while we sat with the family in the front of the church and tried not to wiggle too much.
Mira was so inspired, she fell asleep. And snored.
I tried shifting her around to open up her nasal passages and encourage less enthusiastic snores but didn’t really succeed. I cradled her in my arms while we sang in front of the church and she never woke up. She simply joined the chorus with her own serenade.
After the funeral, we said our goodbyes and hit rush hour traffic. We made the inevitable stop for ice cream and water. And then another stop for the bathroom. And then we tacked on dinner. And then gas….
We made it home in time to put everyone in pj’s and send them to bed.
After the last child was tucked in, Andrew and I stood in the kitchen and wrapped our arms around each other. Partly because we were too tired to stand alone. But mostly because in a day where we remembered family lost and rejoiced in the family we’ve been given to grow, it felt right to be still together and be grateful for God’s goodness and mercy to us.
And so we were.
What made you grateful today? Did you hug the ones you love today?