When there is a death in the family, it helps to have a small child accompany you to all of the related events i.e. visitation, ceremony and funeral. This past weekend was tough for the entire family, but made bearable for me at least, by having Ada with us. I stood in the back of the funeral home during the visitation with her as she cooed and sang, making the only audible sounds at times as everyone in the room reflected on life and death. It was a comfort in a way to know that the circle of life continues - how very Lion King of me, I know.
And at the funeral mass, I was able to hold Ada for the first portion of the ceremony in the church as she was amazed by the three, yes three ceiling fans. That worked for about 10 minutes, then the music entertained her for another five minutes and finally, with my mom's help, we moved out to the church's front yard so as not to completely disrupt the rest of the service.
Ada timed her nap well as my mom took her home while I attended the burial. Spending so much time with family causes you to reflect on many things but also to learn a lot about your family. For instance, Ada's great grandma on Rick's side of the family died fairly recently -- in 1990. She's the one Ada is named after, even though we didn't really intend to name her after a family member but it just happened that we liked the name. And then it turns out there is a great grandma Ada on my side of the family too. Bizarre. I never met either Ada, but Rick attended his Grandma Ada's funeral. Which I found a little weird because after paying our respects to Rick's grandfather, we were led around the tent to see the family resting area --complete with a tombstone with Grandma Ada's name on it --same as my daughter's name. Creepy, but cool at the same time. From the stories told this weekend about Great Grandma Ada, she was a wonderful woman.
On the other hand, my mom's Grandma Ada, whom she never met, was not quite the upstanding citizen we'd have preferred. According to my mom, her Grandma Ada had six kids with her husband and then left him and the kids to marry or run off with another man, leaving the six kids to be split up into foster care. My grandfather being one of them. And the sixth child was questioned as to belonging to her husband or not. Drama! So we're sticking with the story that our Ada is named after Rick's Grandma Ada who was a wonderful person.
And I'll just say, while it was great to have Ada with us for all of the family events, funerals are also a good time to catch cooties... so remember your hand sanitizer. Rick caught a cold and gave it to Ada and now we're listening to the biggest cough from the smallest little thing. And to make matters even more exciting, Ada had her first episode of projectile vomit today. Poor thing. Her cough is just too much. We're hoping for a speedy recovery, and some teeth while we're at it.
Moral of the story: Family is always important to stay close to, not just in bad times, but in all times, and a little hand sanitizer can do wonders when you're planning to shake a gazillion hands. Use it often.