We spent a majority of last week at Bill’s dad’s house with the rest of his family. Tears were shed, laughs shared, stories told. They gave their wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother a beautiful sendoff; I’m sure she loved it. Friends wanted to extend their condolences and express their love by feeding the family, nourishing them through this difficult time: my mom sent me over one morning with bagels, cream cheese, fruit and yogurt: Bill’s office had trays of chicken, fish, pasta, lasagna, salad, string beans, fruit and a box of brownies, lemon squares, raspberry bars delivered: a neighbor knocked on the door with a hot casserole: Bill’s brother came home with a cold cut platter, home-baked cake, tower of chocolate covered pretzels and cookies from a local chocolatier. We were well fed while we mourned.
The days leading up to Bill’s mom’s passing were like the proverbial roller coaster – up one minute, down the next. But, I got to know Bill’s family better, spent time with nieces and nephews I hadn’t spent much time with before. Everyone came together, stayed close and will continue to do so.
Prior to last week Bill and I had planned on spending this past weekend in NYC to see his daughter play in the orchestra of an opera; I thought we might catch a matinée of Kinky Boots too. We decided to go in on Sunday to catch the last performance of Lucia. We took the 12:37 train into Grand Central and walked to the church the opera was being performed in. It was my first, sung in Italian with English translations projected onto a screen. The performers, all non-paid volunteers, were phenomenal. The vocal range and range of emotions elicited from the singers and orchestra made the subtitles almost unnecessary (although I still read every line of them). I was reminded again of the abundance of local talent and how fortunate I am to be exposed to it.
After the show the three of us got a quick bite before Casey headed off to the cast party. Bill and I caught the 7:34 train home. When we pulled into the station there was 4 or 5″ of snow accumulated and more falling. Bill brushed off the car and drove carefully to his house. I got up extra early this morning, drove home to shovel my sidewalk and driveway and get ready for work. There’s snow everywhere, mounds and piles of it. I had a hard time knowing where to throw this fresh batch. I think there’s a little more on the way tomorrow, too.