The Name Game
Weekend Recap

Beginnings and Endings

This month I have gone to a baby shower and a memorial service, and I'll be going to a wedding in a little less than two weeks. A life begins and a life ends; a life together will start.

My nephew's first baby is due very shortly -- less than two weeks! My sister hosted a fun baby shower for her, with much eating and drinking and one quite creative game involving a catapult, wine glasses, and tiny baby toys. I'll let your imagination do the rest -- ha! I gave the new momma the cutest little stuffed octopus and a rubber duckie, so the baby is all set for bedtime and bathtime.

A couple of days before the shower, though, we got the sad news that my cousin Buncie succumbed to cancer. He was 80. I remember Buncie (whose actual name was John) as a big bear of a man with a booming laugh. He was almost 20 years older than I, one of the first group of cousins born to my pop and his sisters. (My older sister was one of the group, and she says that Buncie and Bucky, another cousin, used to tease her unmercifully.) In the last few years, we celebrated Thanksgiving with him and his lovely wife, where the cardinal rule for the conversation was "No politics!" (Their love story is at that link.) He left me an exquisite cut crystal bowl, a gift given to him by my grandmother for his first (very short) marriage. When you flick it, it rings - a beautiful deep tone that even echoes quietly. I will treasure it.

In just about two weeks, we'll be celebrating a wedding! My grand-niece Danielle is getting married, so we'll get to party with the family and get her and her sweetie started on their life together. I think it will be a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to it.

I guess that's life -- birth, death, marriage -- welcoming, remembering, celebrating. Just the way it should be.