It is a terribly sad event when someone you love dies. It is one of the hardest things we ever have to deal with in life. However, I have to say, I actually kind of enjoy the time surrounding the funeral. I hope that's not disrespectful, because I definitely would rather everyone live forever and skip funerals altogether. In fact, I guess it's not technically the funeral, but the days between the death and the funeral. I love how family and friends come together in love and support for one another. I love that the days are a blurry haze of time. You sleep somewhere else, but the days are spent in fellowship with the surviving members of the family.
This past weekend was no different. Josh and Emily were the host house for all the food and fellowship. This just happens to be next door to my mother, so my kids and I were back and forth all weekend. And what could have been such a sad, depressing time was really pretty wonderful. Karla has such a dear, sweet family and they have a strong faith in the Lord, so they were very uplifting. They are also the type of family that welcomes you with open arms as if you were one of their own. It's as if they are saying, "Karla loved you, so we love you too." It was a wonderful, positive group to be in this weekend. Not to mention the food. Good grief, I've never seen so much food in my life. There were casseroles, soups, meat trays, sandwich trays, chips. And the desserts. Oh my gosh. When was the last time you had lemon meringue pie for dessert? Followed by chocolate pie? And then a sliver of a cherry dump cake with just a smidge of a chocolate-y gooey cookie-ish brownie like thingy? Yeah, that's how I ate all weekend. I'm gaining weight just remembering all the food. It was delightful.
Oh, and the fun...we had so much fun. Saturday, my brother Josh, his brother-in-law, Derrick and I took all the kids to the park. There were several, as you can imagine, so we piled them all into the back of Josh's truck (small town Oklahoma, remember?) and hauled them to the park.
I just went along to watch Reese because I was afraid she was too little to go with all those bigger kids. Turns out, I had a better time than she did. There was still quite a bit of snow on the ground from last week's blizzard. What happens when you have 10 or 12 kids and a whole park full of snow? SNOWBALL FIGHT!!!
I had no intention of being in the fight, because, as I pointed out, I was only there to watch my baby girl. Well, there is a precious girl of about 12, Katie, in Karla's extended family who has an ornery streak to say the least. I was standing, minding my own business, watching Reese play and watching Josh and Derrick vs. The Kids in a minor snowball fight. And then it happened. That little punk, Katie, HIT ME! In the neck. With a huge snowball. I could have been an adult about it and asked her to politely leave me out of it. Do you think that is what I did? If you do, then you don't know me at all.
Heck no, I nailed her with a tightly rolled snowball right in the back of the head. And that was the beginning of the end. I had snow down my neck, down my pants, in my ear, in my shoes. I was soaked. And freezing. And laughing so hysterically hard, that my chest hurt all day from the cold air. It was awesome. I haven't had that much fun in years. I run for exercise quite often, but this is different. This is the kind of sprinting and stopping and running and chasing that you seldom do after the age of 12. And that's sad. Because if there's anything that gets your mood elevated, your blood pumping, and your muscles aching, it's a snowball fight.
That is my favorite thing about the time surrounding a funeral. The unplanned flashes of fun family togetherness that are so rare. (Maybe the food just a little bit, too.)