Sunday, December 22, 2013

December 22

As we parked in the church lot this morning, Elizabeth asked, "What day is it?"

"Sunday," I said, and added, "December 22."

I looked at Brian. Half a beat after my mouth started to ask "Are you okay?" I knew why he wasn't quite okay.

December 22, 2007 was the day of Henry's funeral. December 22 is a day that has broken me before, sneaking up as it does after the 17th when my guard is down. Today though, I just sighed.

One good thing about always being late to church is that we never hear "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." It's nearly always the entrance song during Advent, and because we gave the music director mostly free reign, it was the entrance song for his funeral. I know people who carefully planned their children's memorials or funerals, picking readings and songs that meant something to them. I was too broken to do that. We asked for one song, "Peace Like a River," one of the songs I had sung to Henry nearly every day. We delivered a CD to the music director who not only played it, but wrote out the music and gave us copies. Today, had we been a few minutes earlier, we would have heard "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," and maybe I would have broken. Music does that sometimes, much like smells.

It was a strangely warm and foggy day today. I don't remember what it was like the day we buried him. Cold, I think. Gray. But maybe it just felt that way, felt like that's how it should be. But warm and foggy is so wrong for December 22, it would have been appropriate in some ways for the burial of a baby.

I did not stop at the cemetery today, even though I drove by. I didn't mark the day in anyway, except to nod and squeeze Brian's hand when I realized.

1 comment:

  1. Those dates haunt you. Our last day at home is the one that sneaks up on me. I'm glad you were able to get through the day.