Mardi Gras is winding down and it’ll soon be time for Lent. It’s almost impossible to believe that in a week and a half, it’ll have been a year since Bryan died. He traveled to the other side the day after Ash Wednesday. It’s strangely poetic. This time last year, we were in our 22nd day in the hospital, his body slowly betraying him. The grief gets easier in the sense that I don’t have as many bad moments where I feel as if I can’t breathe. I don’t have nearly as many moments where I catch myself keening as if he just died yesterday. Life simply continues on like a fast-moving train, giving me little choice but to jump on board and ride with it.
Tonight was Fat Tuesday so I did what most Episcopalians do. I went to church and stuffed myself with pancakes with friends. I talked. I laughed. I enjoyed the warmth and love of those who know me.
Bryan and I always wanted to go down to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. It would have been total chaos, but we would have loved it. He would have gotten drunk and somehow talked me into earning beads in true New Orleans style. We would have eaten beignets and kissed and talked and laughed into the wee hours of the morning. We would have stumbled back to our hotel room – fat, drunk, and happy.
Margaret and I went to our local watering hole after eating our pancakes and then paid Bryan a visit. We laid our colorful beads on his gravesite and firmly told him he wasn’t going to get a show for them.
I doubt heaven celebrates quite like we do down here, but I hope you at least got your fill of pancakes, Bryan. I will make it down to Mardi Gras one day. I will be with someone who will get drunk with me and I may let them talk me into earning beads in true New Orleans style. We’ll eat beignets and kiss and talk and laugh into the wee hours of the morning. Because for me to live life this way is to keep your legacy alive. Laissez les bons temps rouler.