And so after the funeral and burial yesterday, that's what we did. We sat and laughed and danced and sang as her son, grandson, and nephew played. The house felt full with her memory, yet so empty without her presence. I imagine she had to shake her head when Bella stood to dance and Ethan clapped in time to the music.
The laughter came in staccato bursts whenever anyone repeated stories about Aunt Runt -- especially in conjunction with her husband, my Uncle Reuben (who is a legend in and of himself). But Runt wasn't the only one who was with us. So was my Papa and my Uncle Tom and Aunt Dot. All the brothers and sisters who shaped and made Runt who she was -- the baby, the tough ol' broad.
And at the end of the day, there was Uncle Fred. Representing for the brothers in black nylon knee socks and a cap popped up on his head. He could've been my Papa standing there (though Papa's hat was usually blue).
Looking at him made my heart ache ... in a really good way. Death is a reminder of what you can never have again, but it's also a wake up call to love the hell out of what you do have while you have it. I'm listening.
***This post is part of Wordful Wednesday***