The funeral director entered the room and his face registered surprise. At first I thought it was directed toward the six-month old baby happily banging on the well-polished conference table. But soon I suspected it was more. Now, I'm fairly sure I was looking at awe.
And, frankly, we were awesome.
The mother of the deceased, his sister (my friend), his niece (and the baby's mother) and I were seated around the table. As friend and driver I was honored when yet another seemingly nervous gentleman mistook me for the child's grandmother (and believe me, for me to receive that one well truly demonstrates the emotional power of the moment!).
I wondered what was causing the reactions we kept getting. Possibly, they were amazed at the ability to simply stay composed addressing one of the most horrific things that can happen to a mother -- burying her child. Perhaps it was the generational picture they saw reflected in the room. Maybe it was the fact that we finished one another's thoughts . . . assisting when needed, staying silent when that was best, even laughing when the moment called for it. Whatever . . .
I finally determined that the simplest answer was the best. Most men are amazed at women. And they should be. Once again we proved their suspicions correct . . . there is something mysterious and mystical about us.
We clean up the messes. We care for one another. And we survive.