Saturday, November 3, 2007
I can still remeber when my Aunt brought Baby David home. That's what we called him. Because he was a baby and his name was David. He was my cousin and the first Grandson in our generation... and we are Italian so that is very important. When people ask me what I remember about David, I lie. I lie because I don't want to say, "I remember that he loved bees and was fearless and would catch them by their wings... And I remember that I wrote a check for his funeral." Of all the things I thought when we were kids playing together (that he was bugging me, that if he stuck a bee in my face one more time there would be hell to pay, that I loved even though he wasn't much younger than me he would sit on my lap), I never thought, "I'm going to be writing a check for your funeral." I can still remember when the conversation was had, when the idea was floated. I jumped at the chance. It would make me feel better for the fact that my life was perfect, my sisters were alive and now there could be nice sandwiches and an open bar after the funeral. After the funeral you have for your baby cousin who is fearless who plays with bees and sits on your lap.
The idea of writing a check - who cares - it was not about the money but it was a pinnacle moment of: I AM A GROWN-UP. People die on me. And then I help pay for their funerals. "Don't tell anyone," I was told. It will make people feel bad, less than, fill-in-the-blank. When I was writing that check all I could think of was, "What else will I help pay for? Who else's eyes will I look into and have no idea they might be gone one day and all I will have left of them is a canceled check and a debit on my Bank of America card?
David's two year anniversary was yesterday. All I could think of was, exactly two years ago today, before the accident, before the police called my father thinking he was David's father to tell him the news, before my father had to call my uncle and tell him David was dead, before I called my father and had to hear the news, before I had to take out my red sparkly monkey check book holder that is not very grown-up, but obviously now was being used for grown-up things... my life was perfect.
Once it got turned on it's side and shook up and down and was never the same because of the things that happened and the things I know and the check I wrote. But I'm still standing. Sometimes barely. Sometimes I am laying down. For really long periods of time. Sometimes I am crying in bed and I am howling so loud that my dog howls with me... which makes me laugh and I stop and I comfort him and he comforts me. I am looking for the hope and the silver lining and the wrap-up sentence that UPLIFTS us all and INSPIRES us to move FORWARD. But today, I know none. Tomorrow, I hope tomorrow will be different.