I thought yesterday was going to be the hardest day of my life. I thought I was going to feel a sense of finality about my parents passing. I anticipated feeling that my parents would now be forgotten because we had celebrated their life, much like after a birthday party a person’s moment in the spotlight is soon forgotten. I knew that I was going to feel emptier than ever because I had been filling my days with hard work preparing for this-and now I would have nothing.
But the reality is, that yesterday was incredible. To be honest, I felt happy. I had some tears, and there were moments in which my heart ached; but yesterday I felt so proud of my parents. As a child you never really see your parents as “real” people. I got to experience what mom and dad were like in so many facets of their life. They loved being parents, but they were so much more than that. They were friends, sisters and brothers, bosses, coaches, second parents to many of our friends, spider killers, advice givers, specialists, and mentors. I enjoyed hearing all the stories, and I’m so looking forward to reading the cards that everyone wrote. I love that we laughed yesterday! I love that we poked fun at my mom, and relived many of my dad’s awful jokes! It touched my heart learning the things people are doing to honor my mom and dad. Like taking my dad’s golf clubs on the next golf trip, or a good friend buying our membership to the country club, or planting flowers in memory of my mama.
When I got home last night… and by home, I mean the Harborview bed here… I remember thinking that I was filled with joy. I thought it was peculiar that I should be happy on a day that we gathered together because my mom and dad died. But then I realized that is not what happened at all! Plenty of people pass away without a gathering. All 350 people came to honor, celebrate, smile, remember, and cherish mom and dad. We came because they touched so many people! We came because they made us feel good! We came because they simply saw the good in us! So lying in bed I thought that how I felt was exactly what they wanted! They would want people to remember them, maybe shed a tear, but leave feeling happy and energized with their spirit in each of our hearts.
I know that many of us did not get to see the slideshow particularly well. The club had blacked out the windows up there with the curtain, but it started falling down. I think when the first one slipped down it was my mom peeking in to check on us. And the second one that fell —all the way– was my dad trying to crash the party! So what I’ve done is uploaded the slideshow here for you to see. I think that there is something in here for everyone. In the comments I would love to hear everyone’s favorite part of the slideshow, their favorite picture, their favorite song, or a story to go along with something that you noticed.
I do want to make sure that I thank each of you for coming! Your presence really meant a lot to my family and me, and we are really very touched that you came to celebrate my parents. Thank you also for loving my mom and dad so very much. A part of each of you rubbed off on them, contributing to the whole of who they are. As their children, we are a part of my parents, and in turn you are part of us.