Yesterday was our 10th wedding anniversary. We exchanged cards. He sent some lovely flowers (I called to thank him. He asked, “Did they get it right?” I said “Well, they’re flowers, and they brought them to our house, so…. how could they have gotten it wrong?” “Well, are there 10 pairs of flowers?” he asked. Wow. That’s pretty damn thoughtful.) The kids wondered why the huge bouquet was here. (It’s big. Not, “My horse just won the Kentucky Derby!” kind of big, but big, nevertheless). I tried to explain the concept of anniversaries to them. I decided a visual aid was in order, and pulled out an album of snapshots from the wedding (Waaaay better than the official “portraits” we sat for. What a waste of time and money. Ahh, hindsight!) As I’m answering the kids’ questions, I’m noticing something.
A lot of the people in these pictures are dead.
Some of them were old. My husband’s paternal grandmother passed away a year and a half ago. His other grandma died 11 months after the wedding. Her son followed her 6 months later. He was only 55.
Most of them weren’t old, though.
The woman I used to work with. In the midst of an exceptionally bad divorce, she killed herself in a way that was so incredibly outlandish, it still doesn’t seem real.
My uncle and my little cousin. A car accident took them both.
A beautiful, blond, 10 year old boy. I used to work at an office in his house, for his mom. Even now, I can’t think about him without smiling. (He came into the office one day, having been told to phone a guy named “Bill” about a horse. He was getting frustrated, because he couldn’t find the number in the phone book. I told him it would be under “William”. He stared at me for a full 5 seconds. “You better not be shittin’ me”, he said.)
The emcee at the reception, a family friend who was closer than family. I’d known her since I was 4. They always talk about people who die “doing what they loved.” But she really did.