After the funeral and the reception we had family over to the house. I was still in a fog for an hour or two after the reception, but as guests came to the house the mood changed. The kids were playing together in the pool, neighbors brought food, we drank beer, watched the Tour De France, caught up with cousins. We heard stories about my mother, mostly of the "off the record" variety. We reminisced about camping trips when we were young and road trips to Allentown and Kingston to visit family. It was a really nice time.
As my brother Mike remarked the night before, my mother was always the bright light at a party. Her spirit was there and you could see my mother in her brother Ted's eyes and in her sister Carmel's smile.
Sometime around 10:30 after everyone had left or gone to bed, I went for a run. The heat and humidity had broken and there was a gentle rain. I was relaxed and ran for nearly an hour as I've done countless times in the last six months. But I felt better than I have in a long time. I realized my mother would have really enjoyed the day. And I guess she did.