Calvin and Sarah could not come. Calvin's boss keeps changing his work schedule and as we already had plans on Tuesday (Michaelmas Eve) and Thursday, we were pretty committed to have our celebration on Wednesday. So our oldest was not there. My sister couldn't come either and as it is usually hard to get busy families to come over during a school week, we didn't even try. We were happy though to get Izzy's friend T to join us.
A rough night for sleeping made it impossible for me to get everyone up for mass the next morning. Instead we got up and started our preparations. Izzy and Rosie started on the deviled eggs that I had boiled the night before. I defrosted the chicken breasts and started the sauce for the Angel Hair Pasta dish that we so love. Getting those both done I put them into the crock pot to let them cook and simmer all day.
That done, I sent Sam and Gabe downstairs to listen and read along with Robinson Crusoe on Libra Vox while I worked with Izzy on her reading and math. During that I got a phone call from one of the funeral ladies at church. A little baby had died and she wondered if I would want to go to the funeral tomorrow. I thanked her and told her I would let her know.
Going to the computer and checking out the obituaries I found the little one and decided instead I would go to the funeral home and take the mother a copy of my favorite prayer book, A Mother's Manual.
But there was much to do before then. Sam's coach from College Plus called and we had our first discussion about what Sam was going to need to do to earn College Credit this year. We spoke for over an hour and Sam already has his assignments to complete, and I had books to order.
When that was done I looked for some volunteers to go with me to the funeral home. With none forthcoming, I volunteered sweet Noah. Noah has a sweet heart and a sensitive soul. He was perfect. When we got over to the funeral home the place was packed. I zipped into a parking spot, forgetting that I was driving a huge van and not a compact car. It took me about 5 minutes to maneuver myself out of that spot and find a place quite a distance away, but where I felt I could comfortably get out again.
There were many people from church there, but I had never met this particular family. I stood in line with Noah to meet the family. The parents were understandably heart broken and I thought I would cry just looking at their eyes. But I said a prayer for strength and wisdom to say and do the right thing. I gave the mom the little prayer book in a gift bag and gold her that I had been in a similar situation once and that this little book had helped me. She hung onto it and told me how very special that was to her. She was also hanging on to a beautiful prayer blanket that the church had given to her. She said she was overwhelmed with the support she had received from the church. I hope she can feel comforted and covered with that support in the weeks to come. It's the days after the funeral I think that is always the hardest.
I was good. I didn't cry until I hit the parking lot and then Noah reminded me that I had promised not to. I gave him a hug. It was good to have him with me. And since it was the Feast of the Archangels, we made a special side trip out to the cemetery to visit our little Raphael. I took out my copy of the Mother's Manual and prayed the prayers that I have prayed so often at his little grave site. Visited mom's niche as well.
Then it was a race to get home and get the pasta going. It was done just as Mr. Pete walked through the back door. We prayed and then enjoyed our feast.
When dinner was all done, I played the Office of Readings for the day through my MP3 player for us to listen to and contemplate. I'm not sure what Izzy's friend T thought, but I think she enjoyed it. It was a perfect way to end the evening.
So it wasn't quite the way I had envisioned the day but I think it went well and created another memory for my family and hopefully a deeper devotion to God and his heavenly helpers.
Our "craft" for this year - edible angles!