Friday, May 12, 2006

Good-bye Travis

Chas, Angie and I went to Travis's funeral today. It seems odd to say that I'm glad I went, but I felt better for seeing Cathy.

It was hard. I didn't say much, because I don't have any good words of comfort or wisdom.

When we arrived, Cathy and Steve were not there yet. Actually, when we first arrived, there was only one other car in the cemetery and neither of us were quite where we were supposed to be. Then some other cars arrived and we parked with the rest of them at the very back of the cemetery. Cathy's family was there and two other couples. I learned later that one couple had driven for five hours from Pennsylvania to be with Cathy and Steve today. Those are strong bonds of love and caring.

Sam had not seen us in at least a year--the Maple Fest last year actually. He was quite shy and hid behind his grandpa's leg every time Angie or I said anything to him. Eventually he warmed up and began running with Angie (not on the graves to the best of my recollection).

Cathy and Steve arrived. Steve carried the tiniest casket I've ever seen to the grave, by Alex's grave. I thought Lucas's casket was small. Travis's casket is smaller.

Cathy said a few words. My friend so dear to me is in so much pain. I thought about the fun we have shared and I wished that I could do something more for her. It's trite to say that this is unfair. But it is.

We released balloons with tags naming Alex and Travis, mine was purple. Angie and Sam held onto their balloons as the rest of us watched them fly away. One looked as though it would get caught in the trees, but it finally broke free and blew beyond our sight chasing the rest.

Looking at everyone, I hoped that Cathy and Steve, in their pain, could at least feel all the love surrounding them. It was tangible. It was beautiful. Reading Cathy's blog, I know they did.

We went back to their home for a bit. Talked. Cathy showed pictures of Travis taken at the hospital. He was beautiful and perfect. He had the sweetest little face and hands. He should be here living, crying, wriggling, feeding, and going through diapers at an astronomical rate.

I don't know that we were much help. As I said, I don't have any deep or profound words of comfort or wisdom. But I can still make stupid jokes to cause a smile here and there. Sometimes that can help.

If Cathy or Steve happen to read this, we love you.

Of course a little warning about the complete drum set upstairs would have been good.


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