It’s been a whirlwind of a week so far and Independence Day officially marks the start of the second half.
The first half was the hard half. The second should be a bit easier.
The first half involved saying goodbye, celebrating a life lived to the fullest, with sorrow and sadness.
The second half is all about reuniting with old friends, starting a life together, with joy and happiness.
We said goodbye to my mom Monday and Tuesday, services that brought out friends, family and former colleagues from all corners of the state and Northeast. Funeral services in Saratoga Springs Monday and Ticonderoga Tuesday combined laughter and tears. Stories were told, occasionally repeated, and we all took great pride and even more surprise in the turnout. Considering the things she’d done we probably shouldn’t have been too taken aback. But you never know until you know.
Wednesday was our dark day in racing terms. No services, happy or sad. No receptions. No catering. No formality. No structure. Plenty of planning though, mixed with cleaning up, catching up. Not unlike a dark day during the Saratoga racing season. Lots to do in one day, before the action picks up again with the next time to breathe way off in the distance.
So this brings us to Thursday, Independence Day. The day we commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, our freedom as Americans from British rule back on July 4, 1776. More than one person has remarked to me that the day before we officially tie the knot is named as such. The joke goes something like this, “better celebrate now, it’s your last day of independence on Independence Day!” Or something like that.
It’s a funny way to think about it, and joking about it during receptions following mom’s funerals brought some levity.
Elizabeth and I will celebrate with out-of-town friends at the Otter Creek Brewery, one of the great places here in the small town of Middlebury, Vermont, where we’ve chosen to make it all official after being together since November 2007. Friday we’ll gather on the lawn in the middle of town, exchange vows and rings, set out on our next journey together. Saturday we’ll gather again, with even more friends and family back in the Adirondacks.
Saturday’s traditional Adirondack-style cookout will mark the end of a whirlwind week. It’ll be one that we’ll look back on one day and wonder how we made it through in once piece.
And then we’ll remember all the support we’ve gotten along the way. From friends, family, colleagues and people we don’t even know.
Those kinds of folks are priceless and we know we couldn’t do it without them.
And for that we’re thankful and grateful.