Sorry so long since last time, sorry so sad.

Hello friends. I am so sorry that it has been over a month since I wrote in. It kinda slipped by and I didn’t realize that so much time had passed. Also, every time I sat down to write, it was time to watch football, or sleep, or eat, or shower. So here we are.
This is going to be one of those super sad posts unfortunately. There have been some terrible and crushing things that happened around us recently. On December 3, Carlos’s family was hit with a tragedy. There was a house fire at his Auntie Jackie’s house. Her long-time boyfriend Thomas and their two young children Kyra and TJ were killed. They were seven and five years old. The fire was caused by faulty wiring.
How do you process this sort of tragedy? What do you do, what do you say? In my case, I take after my dad and worry about whether everyone knows. I make phone calls and I check on the people involved and offer support and try my best to make it easier on everyone. I don’t cry. I just don’t. Never really have. The first time I lost someone super close to me, it was my grandfather when I was in eight grade. He and my grandmother were living with us and they had both gotten sick and gone to the hospital and when my mom told us he had passed away, my sister cried and I cleaned out the refrigerator. Two days later my grandmother passed as well and I didn’t cry then either. In fact, I have never cried upon hearing news of someone’s death (I don’t think. There have been a lot and I could be forgetting) and never at a funeral.
Carlos and I decided it was of utmost importance that we attend the memorial. I had to miss a day of work, we had to cancel a gig dealing cards, and we had to drive four and a half hours to get there. None of that was important. We brought Carlos’s mom and brother and nephew. It was a beautiful drive and a lovely day. It was a bit of an adventure. I saw an area of the state I had never seen and even an area I could imagine moving to.
We were late to the memorial. Four hours was actually more like four and a half. We left late. We had four adults and a four-year-old and all the attendant potty breaks and smoke breaks. When we got into town the address we were following was a burger shack, not a church. We had to get directions back to the old bowling alley which is now the church. When we got there, the service was over and everyone was getting in line to go up and see Jackie and offer condolences. We walked in the back door and right into the end of the line. We waited our turn as everyone hugged and talked and loved on Jackie and her immediate family. There were drawings and posters from the kids’ friends at school on the wall and set up on the floor at the front. There were pictures of the family. We waited our turn. When we got to the front of the line, I was in front of my little family group. Jackie turned and saw me, burst into tears and threw herself into my arms. I burst into tears as well (my “Steel Magnolias” moment) and we stood there crying for a while. They weren’t expecting us and I think that the shock of seeing me as well as all she’s going through hit her hard. Me? I cried at my first people funeral.
On our way home that night we stopped for dinner. It had been an emotionally draining day. We were all exhausted. We ended up at a place that does home style cooking. I had beef stew and Monty had a grilled cheese sandwich. Connie had liver and onions, Carlos the salmon and Desmond a burger. Our waitress was very sweet, a little pregnant I think. She was understanding of our exhausted state and our inability to make choices. I felt a bit of a connection with her. When we got the check, I opened it to try and figure out what tip to give her. Her name was printed on the check. Her name was Kyra. I explained to her as we paid where we had been and how meaningful it felt to meet someone with the same name as one of those we had lost. I gave her a hug as we left.
I am at a bit of a loss of anything else to say today. I’ll be better about blogging on schedule from here on and I’ll talk to you all soon.

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