December 30, 2016
Wake day is upon us. I don’t remember much of the morning. I remember every one rushing around and getting ready. Our oldest sons girlfriend did Veronicas hair to match the pretty dress she picked out while myself and my best friend were in the bathroom putting “our faces on”. At this point I really did not care about doing my hair. At this point getting out of bed was an accomplishment. I put on real people clothes and everything! I remember I was nervous. I had no idea what I was in for. I didn’t know how many people were going to be showing up. We never put a notice in the newspaper. She was 34 days old she didn’t have a lot of friends yet. Basically we figured anyone who needed or wanted to know would have from family members. My step mother put a notice out on Facebook and tagged all family so every one saw when to be where.
Riding to this wake was the worst thing ever. I cried the ENTIRE ride there. I couldn’t even help it and I couldn’t stop if I wanted to. We walk into the room that her wake was being held and all I saw were pictures of her and then they had a DVD playing of the same pictures with that “Arms Of the Angel” song which might I add was torture. Then there it is. There it is. Right there. A little off white casket. Huge flower arrangements surrounded it. Almost swallowing it. Remington was extremely taken back. I was holding Vinnie Jr when he saw all the pictures and got excited for a minute. “MOMMY! MOMMY! IT’S BABY GIRL!”. Then something inside hit him. Almost as if he knew that these pictures he’s seeing, represents what’s inside that little off white box. I couldn’t take it. I had to hand him off to Vinnie Sr. My heart was breaking double in those minutes. In these moments I realized how broken I really was. I was feeling everyone’s pain. I was hurting for my little Vinnie who had only a little clue as to what was happening. I could feel and relate to his confusion. I could feel my Remington’s awkward disposition. His sadness. I could feel Veronica’s anxiety. Add this to my own anxiety and my own sadness and my own awkward disposition, it was overwhelming.
People started filing in at this point. I was shocked by the outcome. In all it was about 256 people (according to signatures in the book) that attended our beautiful Stella’s wake. This number doesn’t reflect the amount of cards we got in the mail and phone calls from friends and family who couldn’t attend. It was awesome to see so many people who cared about us. People I never thought would come, came. It was touching. Somewhere around hour two it got to be just a lot for me to handle and I went to hide in the bathroom. Also I finally felt hungry. Lucky for me across the street was a pizzeria. I figured hiding was rude enough I couldn’t just leave so my childhood best friend did the running and brought it back to the bathroom. An employee tried to tell her that food wasn’t allowed inside the funeral home all she said was “yea she’s in the bathroom it’s fine”. This friend though isn’t really someone you say no to anyways. After about a half hour I sneak back out and I linger in the hallway that runs between the other rooms for different wakes. I find my husband and stick to him. Sometimes I need him to talk for me. This was the time. I was at the point where I couldn’t answer another “how are you holding up?” or “thank God you have the other kids”. Now that last statement didn’t really offend me. No one means to say these things to offend anyone in this specific situation. In all reality, yes thank God I have them because if not what reason did I then have to get off the air mattress? What was awkward for me was the touching and the hugging. Firstly I’m not the hug me kind of person. If you are not in my bloodline or my husbands family or my good friends I’m probably not hugging you. It’s no shade on you and it’s not meant to be rude I’m just not that way. So by about hour 3 I was touched and hugged out. We had decided that her funeral was just going to be immediate family. Not a big to-do. No procession from this point to that point. No suit and ties or dresses. It was also going to snow and be pretty cold so…. Jeans, boots and winter jackets were the attire of choice. So we ended with a little sermon and prayer.
Now it’s time to go. Everyone else left except the people coming back to our house afterwards. MAN ALIVE this was agony. Pure agony. I had to of stood there with my husband and held that little casket so tight I could see the whites of my knuckles. This went on for about a good 10 to 15 minutes. I didn’t want to leave her. Her casket wasn’t sealed shut at that point, there was nothing stopping me from opening it and grabbing her. Well actually the only thing stopping me was the understanding that it wasn’t her in that casket it was just what she looked like. Not to mention but, that probably wouldn’t have been ideal for my children to see. After all we are modeling these little humans to be functioning adults one day. That little event probably would have screwed them up for life. So I decided to just hold the casket and cry instead. LEAVING that funeral home was bad. Once again I had to leave WITHOUT my baby. I felt as though I was leaving her alone. Every one was going home for the night and she was laying there all by herself.
There’s nothing in this entire world that was going to prepare me for the following morning. Nothing. How do you prepare to put your baby (of any age) in the ground?
That’s for a different post. For a different day….. A little further in the week.