Listening to all of the eloquent speeches on TV at the memorial service honoring San Diego police officer Chistopher Wilson last week, I realized nobody spoke at my parents memorial service.
We should have asked someone to say something.
Their deaths were so untimely and tragic that I’d like to believe that everyone in attendance was in just as much shock as we were.
After all, there were no words.
I should have said something though.
I really wanted to, but I just couldn’t make my legs stand up to walk to the front of the room.
Where were my words?
Talk about shocking, we only expected 10 people to show up and instead there were maybe 60. A pretty good turn out considering my parents died overseas and didn’t know that many people in Tucson.
We were pleased that my dad’s brothers and their wives and some of their children made the trip from Texas and I was comforted that my in-laws were there and felt nothing but loved when I saw my closet girlfriends. To this day, having them there with me on the darkest day of my life, is one of the kindest gestures I have known.
The obituary ran the same day, October 21, 2007 and my phone rang all morning. The service was held at 2:00 and people all over were finding out for the first time, yet I had known for seven days by then.
In those seven days, along with my sister and husband, we selected urns, chose photos for a montage, put together a CD of my parents favorite music, created the text for the program, edited the obituary and bought something to wear to the dreadful event.
I will never forget the shopping trip that Leah and I made to buy those dresses. We were numb and we didn’t care, so we chose the ugliest black dresses we could find knowing that while we may never get rid of them, we would never ever wear them again.
As soon as my husband saw them, he marched us right back to the mall to return them for more flattering ones. I am really glad he did that.
What would we have done without our voice of reason? There are no words to express my gratitude and love for Todd, who was an absolute rock throughout the entire process, not just that week, but for weeks and months to follow.
I wish I said something at the service.
There were no words, but still I should have gotten up and had the courage to, at the very least, thank everyone for coming.