Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Days of the Dead

Less than week after Molly & Jack's arrival, Chris's grandmother passed away suddenly and unfortunately she never got to meet them.  The morning of her passing was also the morning of their first "well-baby" check-up.  We told the nurse practitioner what had happened with Chris's grandmother, and she said that she often sees a member of one generation pass on around the same time that new babies are born.  A strange phenomenon in the cycle of life I suppose.  So a week after their birth, time was spent preparing eulogies, looking for old photographs and finding family and friends who could look after the twins while we attended the visitation and the funeral. Two weeks later, after several emergency trips to the vet, our cat Tweaker had to be put down due to complications from diabetes.  It was a rough start for life with the babies - and it had nothing to do with them.

Around the time Molly and Jack turned one month, after a particularly rough night sleep (the babies had their first colds) I called my mother in tears.  "The only time we've gotten out of the house with or without the babies is for death." I cried.  At the time, our twins were still too small for our baby carriers and our stroller, so I felt completely and totally trapped.  My mother kindly told me to drop off the twins that afternoon so I could go for a walk, go to a mall and just get away.  So I did.  I dropped off the twins, went home, had a nap and then went to a shopping mall to just walk around.  While I was at the mall an old man passed out and died in the food court.*  It was official, we were surrounded by death.

Fast forward two months.  We've been working hard with Chris's family every week to help clean up and out his grandmother's house and get it ready to sell.  This weekend is the official "dumpster party" where this chapter comes to an end. 

Yesterday and today are considered The Day of the Dead** which lead me to think about family and friends who have passed away.  I think about those who aren't around any more and all of the wonderful things that they have taught me that I want to pass onto Molly and Jack.  I also am thinking about stuff.  As we've sorted through a house full of things, many of which have ended up donated, recycled or in the garbage, because it's just stuff and not that important.  So if you have a chance this week, go visit someone you care about or give them a call.  Cause stuff will always be there - they might not.

*Yeah, I couldn't believe it either.
**Day of the Dead (SpanishDía de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in many cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it attains the quality of a National Holiday. The celebration takes place on November 1–2, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls,marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts.

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