i fell in love with the arctic north, as we drove around back roads covered in snow and saw houses with basements and pitched roofs and i walked out onto a lake that was frozen solid.
it was the first time i walked on water, musicboy joked, and i quickly said it would be the only circumstance when that would happen since i am far from the perfection necessary to truly achieve that. there was peace in that snowy expanse that i didn't expect.
i fit there nicely. i also didn't expect that.
things went pretty well, all things considered. saying goodbye is always hard. i think the thing that affected me the most was seeing the love that surrounded this family. casseroles magically appeared in a warm oven, big bowls of salad and crusty bread to accompany them. rooms at the visitation and funeral and the graveside service were full despite the piercingly cold weather. flowers were sent not only from friends, but from musicboy's dad's family and their good friends. that touched me more than anything else, i think. it was extraordinary to see so much love.
that is a life well-lived.
we are back now, after a ridiculous travel experience that at best can be described as comical and at worse could be described as punctuated by the absurdly inept. we are slowly readjusting back to normal life and trying to catch up--on sleep, on work, on all the things that didn't really exist much for us while we were gone.
i am so grateful for the opportunity to have been there for musicboy and his family. i made food and made sure people were fed, i put pictures on collage boards and held my husband's hand. we looked at a dozen or more photo albums, learning more about his family as we did. i got the chance to have conversations with people i only briefly met at the wedding, coming to respect and like many of them so much more.
sometimes just being there was enough. it's a blessing that i was able to do it.