Another weird post title that somehow says it all, and correctly!
Last weekend was a weekend to end all for me ( and my family). Two major life altering events took place, back to back, and they couldn’t have been more different in every way, from the emotions they elicited, to the way they were carried out.
Let me e’splain.
Saturday, my darling, wonderful, talented and much loved daughter got married. The event was originally supposed to happen in May of this year with a guest list of over 300. A three day affair scheduled in the White Mountains. Then…Covid hit. She postponed the big wedding until Labor day, but had to put it off once again because we are still in the throes of a pandemic. September 12 was the fifth anniversary of my daughter and now husband’s first date, so they decided to get married in a small scale event, Covid-compliant, and with immediate family only.
It was the most joyous of affairs. A church wedding and mass, after which we all proceeded to my new son-in-law’s childhood home for an outside dinner and celebration, catered, and Covid compliant to the hilt. It was simple, elegant, religious, and filled with all the love these two deserved.
Happiness was the order of the day.
Sunday, we all had to switch emotional gears because we attended my brother-in-law’s wake ( celebration of life). After a valiant and hard pressed 11 year battle with kidney cancer, my husband’s younger brother – and the baby in the Jaeger family – finally succumbed to the ravages of the disease. The decision to wake and bury him on my daughter’s wedding weekend was made since the entire family would be in attendance for the wedding. Since my bro-in-law was my daughter’s Godfather, she agreed with this plan.
The wake was emotional but in an entirely different way from the wedding. Sorrow, grief, pain. These words don’t seem to do justice to what filled the hearts of the people who came to pay their last respects to a man who brought joy to so many people’s lives.
Monday we attended a Catholic burial mass, then laid him to rest.
I kept a close eye on my husband throughout the weekend because I was concerned about his emotional welfare the most. From the highs and elations of walking his only child down the aisle to marry the man of her heart, to the cavernous depths of despair at saying goodbye to his baby brother, I feared my poor man wouldn’t be able to cope. Many times emotions overcame him. And just as many times he was able to get himself back in check and soldier on.
There’s a quote that Rose Kennedy espoused when her first son was killed in combat during WWII. “I know God will never give me a burden to heavy to bear. He has faith in my to carry any weight and carry on.” That about sums up how I got through this weekend.
Life and death are two halves of the same coin. Never was that so evident in my lifetime as this past weekend.
I don’t routinely give advice because I hate getting it, especially unsolicited, but I’ll drop my guard for a moment and just say this: tell the people you love the most that you do. Often and in every way you can. When we have nothing else left in our lives, we have the memories of the people who loved us and whom we loved.