Monday, February 15, 2010

Memorial, pt 2

I should have written about this a while ago, because, to be perfectly honest, I don't know that I have much to say about it now. Which OBVIOUSLY means I will proceed to go on at length about it. The real reason I'm writing about it? Because I titled the other post about the service "Memorial, pt 1". PART ONE. I can't leave that just hanging there. If there's a Part One, there must at least be a Part Two. I can't have poor little Part One out there in the internets, alone and confused about its name.


The service, the whole day, was beautiful. Sun was streaming through the windows, and the room was filled with our, and Jane's, friends and family. I was feeling... okay about having to speak. I'd worked on what I wanted to say, and felt that it said what I wanted to say (and I still feel that way, nine days later). But then I walked in and saw that huge room filled with all of those caring, crying people and almost turned on my heel. Each part of my body was screaming "Run away! Run away!" like the krill fleeing the whale in Finding Nemo. But I ignored the little voices and kept on walking, holding Sarah's hand.

And it all went great. Tom did an incredible job as (what do you call a non-officiant who presides over a non-religious event like this?) whatever he was. Emcee. I would have biffed it miserably, but Tom rocked it.

Tom's sister Maura read a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley:

To Jane

The keen stars were twinkling,
And the fair moon was rising among them,
Dear Jane.
The guitar was tinkling,
But the notes were not sweet till you sung them

As the moon's soft splendour
O'er the faint cold starlight of Heaven
Is thrown,
So your voice most tender
To the strings without soul had then given
Its own.

The stars will awaken,
Though the moon sleep a full hour later
No leaf will be shaken
Whilst the dews of your melody scatter

Though the sound overpowers,
Sing again, with your dear voice revealing
A tone
Of some world far from ours,
Where music and moonlight and feeling
Are one.

It was lovely, and Maura's such a rock star that her voice was steady throughout. (Unlike, say, mine.)

Then Tom spoke movingly and well about Jane, and about the lessons learned from her, and about the DHMC crew (he made them stand and be recognized [and THANK YOU AGAIN for coming]) and he made people laugh and cry and even applaud (especially for the DHMC folks).

And then it was Tom's brother Dan's turn. He sang one of his own songs, "You Brought the Sun" accompanied only by his own guitar-playing. It was beautiful and perfect.

Well, what I saw was perfect. Midway through the song, Sarah had a moment of Pure Three-Year-Oldedness. I took her out, tried to reason with her (AHAHAHAHA) and then brought her back in and went up to the lectern because suddenly it was MY TURN OHMIYGOD and read my piece with her on my hip, she trying throughout to take the pages away. It went sort of like this:

Sarah (full volume): "This page is mine!"

me (whispering): "Uh, heh, no. You can have it later."

Sarah (full volume): "I want it now!"

me (whispering, with an edge of desperation creeping into my voice): "It's mine now. Just wait."

Sarah (full volume, and wiggling out of my arms): "I want to sit on this thing!"

me (nearly giving up): "Oh god..."

I was so distracted by her antics that I only lost it a handful of times while speaking. Of course, I was basically speed reading to get through it, so my posting my bit last week was as much a public service to those who attended as it was to you lot who couldn't make it.

And then my sister read from Horton Hears A Who, and her three-year-old, Molly, insisted on being held throughout, too. Preschoolers unite!

And that was it.

Everyone trooped down to our house, and suddenly it was a party. It was pretty great, actually, but ONLY because a few people made it so: in particular, Jenny and her husband Kevin, my brother Matt and his fiancee Esme, and my college roommates (who came in from New York, Ann Arbor and SAN FRANCISCO -- how awesome are they?) kept the food flowing, the bathrooms supplied, the empty plates gathered and the drinks table stocked. They ran the show and let me and Tom spend time with the people who had come to support us. Probably one hundred people passed through our house over three hours, and if it weren't for all that help I would have spoken to maybe three of them.

Then the crowds left, we got into more comfy clothes and we ladies went to Matt's bar while the boys stayed home with beers and Funny People.

And that was it.

We had a perfect send-off for our girl, and I'm grateful to each and every person who was there, or tried to be there, or wished they could have been there. Including YOU. Yes, you. I know you were thinking about us. Thanks.


Karen said...

I'm glad the memorial was perfect for you and I think Jane probably would have appreciated that Sarah wanted to be on the podium with you - she wouldn't want her big sister to feel left out!! Thanks for updating us.

mommatosena said...
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artandsoul said...

Today is a brilliant, sunny, cold day and the birds are energetically crying out for spring to go ahead and get here already. Insistently they're calling over and over and over.

And, honestly, Tia I could read your words over and over and over too. Like the birds. Calling. I know that my reading has no effect on when the words come and how you choose to share your journey. But the call is there because that's how it feels to me!

Log on. See what's there.

And lo and behold Part 2 appears. I can see why the birds think they have something to do with the arrival of spring. :)

Thank you for continuing to share. I'm so grateful that your real life is peopled with such fine, fabulous and insistent people such as Sarah, Tom, Jenny, the DHMC, your mom, etc.

And, in case you're ever wondering there are some invisible folks out here too who keep sending love, prayers for Our Girl and wishes for you to feel the embrace of the whole world.


Anonymous said...

It sounds like a beautiful memorial. I can kind of picture it even though I wasn't there.