Tomorrow we have a memorial service for Nonie at St. Patricks, followed by a dinner at the Capital City Club. Tonight all my cousins met at her apartment. We had pizza. We met Manning's (her boyfriend) family who have come to town to help us say goodbye. It was wonderful to see everyone. It was hard to see everyone. I'll see more tomorrow.
You see here pictures of me pregnant with Anton on my first Mother's Day and many months later when Nonie and Anton just met. Anton was her 13th great-grandchild. She said he was her lucky one. :)
I saved many quiet moments tonight and waited for Nonie to come to me. She watched it all. She'll watch more tomorrow. Amazing to see the generations of love between generations - all coming from her.
Tomorrow will be bittersweet. I'll wear a wool jacket that was hers. Anton will wear his Lederhosen. Doug'll look smashing in his suit. And I'll just be there. I'll carry her ashes from the sanctuary to the chapel. I'll set her between my grandfather Bopie and my brother Tommy.
Grief really began last weekend with the flu that hit me. I've felt it in my neck and shoulders all week. Headaches are back. I could not help but look at every aunt and uncle I have tonight and see them on their deathbeds. I cannot get those images out of my head. The finality we all must face. The finality we are. It makes me want to cling and stay. It makes me want to run and leave.
I will not take communion tomorrow. It'll be odd to be in a church again. But I do take comfort in the fact that tomorrow will be filled with the essence of Nonie in all of us. I have always believed that the outer community a person creates is but a larger portrait of their inner selves. So you're damn right she'll be there.
We recreate who we are in every person we meet. Who are you now, Nonie - now that you're beyond the things we fought about years ago - beyond the pettiness that kept us apart from each other and ourselves? Things really don't have to be perfect between us anymore, do they?
When she passed, a part of me was born. I will recreate her tomorrow. I will recreate myself.