Thursday, July 26, 2012


It's a few months ahead of schedule and we aren't exactly all the way prepared for it, but my job was "restructured" this week and I'm suddenly, for the first time in 20 years, out of a job.

What am I going to do with all this free time?


Tuesday, July 17, 2012


is how the kid that is NEVER alone with Mama celebrates being alone with Mama.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

For Melrose

Mostly because I can't figure out how to un-privatize only select pictures in the album I had these in...

This was day 2 or 3.  The spots had gone from looking like bug bites to zits. Not really much complaining, but I was using oatmeal baths as kind of a preventative measure.

A couple of days later.  Again, still not complaining.  :)

This picture was captioned "Day 12".  The spots had pretty much scabbed over by this point.  The ones in her hair were the first to ooze and scab, but also the last ones to completely heal.  Probably because she has long hair.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Weight Gain

is a good thing, in the Tiny Toddler's case. 

She's still in some 12 mo clothes (and a few 18 month) and, since her pants tend to just fall off (even with the adjustable waistbands cinched all the way up), she's wearing a lot of dresses with tights, but...

BUT!  We went to the pediatrician this morning to check out an excess of snot and she's gained a little over a pound and a half in the last two months and...

AND!  She's broken 20 pounds - her official (fully clothed) weight was 20 pounds, 7 ounces.

I'll take it.  This is the second two month stretch in a row that she's gained over a pound and a half.  At this rate, we might make it back onto the growth charts by her birthday.  :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'm sure you've seen this making the rounds

but just in case... Here's the link to the whole post about not Carpe-ing the Diem, and below is the part that I found myself first nodding in agreement, then wanting to go find a toddler and sniff her head...

There are two different types of time. Chronos time is what we live in. It's regular time, it's one minute at a time, it's staring down the clock till bedtime time, it's ten excruciating minutes in the Target line time, it's four screaming minutes in time out time, it's two hours till daddy gets home time. Chronos is the hard, slow passing time we parents often live in.

Then there's Kairos time. Kairos is God's time. It's time outside of time. It's metaphysical time. It's those magical moments in which time stands still. I have a few of those moments each day. And I cherish them.

Like when I actually stop what I'm doing and really look at Tish. I notice how perfectly smooth and brownish her skin is. I notice the perfect curves of her teeny elf mouth and her asianish brown eyes, and I breathe in her soft Tishy smell. In these moments, I see that her mouth is moving but I can't hear her because all I can think is -- This is the first time I've really seen Tish all day, and my God -- she is so beautiful. Kairos.

Like when I'm stuck in chronos time in the grocery line and I'm haggard and annoyed and angry at the slow check-out clerk. And then I look at my cart and I'm transported out of chronos. And suddenly I notice the piles and piles of healthy food I'll feed my children to grow their bodies and minds and I remember that most of the world's mamas would kill for this opportunity. This chance to stand in a grocery line with enough money to pay. And I just stare at my cart. At the abundance. The bounty. Thank you, God. Kairos.

Monday, January 16, 2012

In Case You Were Wondering

this happened. 

We were a little bit optomistic with our compensation hopes (it's still totally fair, it'll just take a little bit longer to reach some financial goals), but my husband recieved (and accepted) his offer letter last week and it's effective today.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Mostly because I don't want to forget this.


In the car the other morning, my 3YO asked for "the magic see" song. When I was confused, she elaborated: "on the singing music. with the clapping".

After frantically inserting and ejecting every CD I had in the car, listening to the first few bars of each song to jog my memory, I got the right song, and maybe three bars in, she exclaimed "That IT! The Magic See SONG!" It turns out, on a CD of VBS music from 3 years ago (I don't even know when she heard it), the 4th song has a line in the middle about "majesty". And there is clapping at the end.


My 3YO prays chatty prayers while running and jumping and fidgeting and playing hand games.  She has no patience for recited prayers, other than the Lord's Prayer at bedtime (which she asks for over and over and again and again.  I bet we pray the Lord's Prayer 15 times in a row every night.).  She prays for the kitten that she saw and for those kids that the firemen were going to save "yesterday"* and for all the people that love her and for the caterpillar and for the weatherman to say that it will be sunny tomorrow and thank you, God, for bubbles and cousins and chocolate chip cookies. 
My 20MO sits stone still, with her hands folded, until the last two or three words of the prayer (or Creed or whatever), then raises her big blue eyes and solomnly says "A-mem".

*by "yesterday", she means pretty much any time in the past.  It might have been 5 minutes ago or 5 months ago.  There's really no telling.

Monday, November 21, 2011


The year-and-a-half-ish since my younger daughter was born have been a difficult time in my marriage.  I think that we've both been overwhelmed at trying to balance our various responsibilities - to each other, to ourselves, to our daughters, to our employers, blah blah blah.  From the Thick Of It, we thought we were doing fine.  Only we weren't.  And the biggest victim was our marriage.

About a year ago, I started seeing cracks.  About six months ago, those cracks were canyons.  By mid-summer, we were in counseling.  By Labor Day, we were seperated.  My husband came home in October;  he came home because he knew that our daughters needed him, and he knew that We didn't stand a chance if we weren't living together.  He was very careful to tell me that he wasn't back because he had fallen back in love with me, but that he was there to make his best effort.  It was our last ditch hail mary pass to try to avoid divorce.

Did I just see what I thought I saw?
In the last two weeks, I've started catching glimpses of my Husband - the one that was happy to be home, the one that was happy to see me, and the sightings started getting more frequent. 

Yesterday, he put his wedding ring back on.

I think we might just make it, after all.

Why yes, there you are.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Got Ees Good, Part (I've Lost Count)

My younger daughter had her cardiologist follow-up yesterday.

When she was a month old, her pediatrician heard what he thought was a heart murmur, and sent us (her) for an EKG and a chest x-ray.  Then, he sent us (her, again) pediatric cardiologist in a sort-of nearby big city.   There, she had another EKG and an Echocardiogram, and the cardiologist discovered that her left pulmonary artery was kinked.  He said, at the time, that he expected for it to work itself out and that his main concern was that she would build up scar tissue around the kink and need surgery, and that he wanted to check her out in about a year.

Yesterday, we (she) repeated the EKG and Echocardiogram. 

They were all clear.  Perfect.  The good doctor said that there is no evidence of kinks, restricted blood flow, or scar tissue.  And - here's the best part - he released my perfect daughter from his care and said he hopes to never see us again unless it's in the grocery store aisle.

Also, as a happy side note, my tiny girl has gained a pound and a half in the last slightly-more-than-two months.

Also in Happy News, my friend Mali had a beautiful baby girl yesterday.  Please continue to remember Mali and Piper in your prayers.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Please keep my friend, Mali, and her baby girl in your prayers.  Her blog is linked over there on the sidebar and she updates daily.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage - from the Book of Common Prayer (1979)

At the time appointed, the persons to be married, with their witnesses, assemble in the church or some other appropriate place.

During their entrance, a hymn, psalm, or anthem may be sung, or instrumental music may be played.

Then the Celebrant, facing the people and the persons to be married, with the woman to the right and the man to the left, addresses the congregation and says

Dearly beloved: We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together of this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony. The bond and covenant of marriage was established by God in creation, and our Lord Jesus Christ adorned this manner of life by his presence and first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. It signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and his Church, and Holy Scripture commends it to be honored among all people.

The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God's will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord. Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.

Page 424

Into this holy union N. N. and N. N. now come to be joined. If any of you can show just cause why they may not lawfully be married, speak now; or else for ever hold your peace.

Then the Celebrant says to the persons to be married

I require and charge you both, here in the presence of God, that if either of you know any reason why you may not be united in marriage lawfully, and in accordance with God's Word, you do now confess it.

The Declaration of Consent

The Celebrant says to the woman

N., will you have this man to be your husband; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?

The Woman answers

I will.

The Celebrant says to the man

N., will you have this woman to be your wife; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?

The Man answers

I will.

Page 425

The Celebrant then addresses the congregation, saying

Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?

People We will.

If there is to be a presentation or a giving in marriage, it takes place at this time. See page 437.

A hymn, psalm, or anthem may follow.

The Ministry of the Word

The Celebrant then says to the people The Lord be with you.

People And also with you.

Let us pray.
O gracious and everliving God, you have created us male and female in your image: Look mercifully upon this man and this woman who come to you seeking your blessing, and assist them with your grace, that with true fidelity and steadfast love they may honor and keep the promises and vows they make; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Page 436

Then one or more of the following passages from Holy Scripture is read. If there is to be a Communion, a passage from the Gospel always concludes the Readings.

Genesis 1:26-28 (Male and female he created them)
Genesis 2:4-9, 15-24 (A man cleaves to his wife and they become one flesh)
Song of Solomon 2:10-13; 8:6-7 (Many waters cannot quench love)
Tobit 8:5b-8 ( New English Bible ) (That she and I may grow old together)
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (Love is patient and kind)
Ephesians 3:14-19 (The Father from whom ever family is named)
Ephesians 5:1-2, 21-33 (Walk in love, as Christ loved us)
Colossians 3:12-17 (Love which binds everything together in harmony)
1 John 4:7-16 (Let us love one another for love is of God)

Between the Readings, a Psalm, hymn, or anthem may be sing or said. Appropriate Psalms are 67, 127, and 128.

When a passage from the Gospel is to be read, all stand, and the Deacon or Minister appointed says The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to ______.

People Glory to you, Lord Christ.

Matthew 5:1-10 (The Beatitudes)
Matthew 5:13-16 (You are the light...Let your light so shine)
Matthew 7:21,24-29 (Like a wise man who built his house upon the rock)
Mark 10:6-9,13-16 (They are no longer two but one)
John 15:9-12 (Love one another as I have loved you)

After the Gospel, the Reader says The Gospel of the Lord.

People Praise to you, Lord Christ.

A homily or other response to the Readings may follow.

Page 427

The Marriage

The Man, facing the woman and taking her right hand in his, says

In the Name of God, I, N., take you, N., to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.

Then they loose their hands, and the Woman, still facing the man, takes his right hand in hers, and says

In the Name of God, I, N., take you, N., to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.

They loose their hands.

The Priest may ask God's blessing on a ring or rings as follows

Bless, O Lord, this ring to be a sign of the vows by which this man and this woman have bound themselves to each other; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The giver places the ring on the ring-finger of the other's hand and says

N., I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit ( or in the Name of God).

Page 428

Then the Celebrant joins the right hands of husband and wife and says

Now that N. and N. have given themselves to each other by solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of a ring, I pronounce that they are husband and wife, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder.

People Amen.

The Prayers

All standing, the Celebrant says

Let us pray together in the words our Savior taught us.

People and Celebrant Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

If Communion is to follow, the Lord's Prayer may be omitted here.

Page 429

The Deacon or other person appointed reads the following prayers, to which the People respond, saying, Amen.

If there is not to be a Communion, one or more of the prayers may be omitted.

Let us pray.
Eternal God, creator and preserver of all life, author of salvation, and giver of all grace: Look with favor upon the world you have made, and for which your Son gave his life, and especially upon this man and this woman whom you make one flesh in Holy Matrimony. Amen.
Give them wisdom and devotion in the ordering of their common life, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy. Amen.
Grant that their wills may be so knit together in your will, and their spirits in your Spirit, that they may grow in love and peace with you and one another all the days of their life. Amen.
Give them grace, when they hurt each other, to recognize and acknowledge their fault, and to seek each other's forgiveness and yours. Amen.
Make their life together a sign of Christ's love to this sinful and broken world, that unity may overcome estrangement, forgiveness heal guilt, and joy conquer despair. Amen.
[[Bestow on them, if it is your will, the gift and heritage of children, and the grace to bring them up to know you, to love you, and to serve you. Amen. ]]
Give them such fulfillment of their mutual affection that they may reach out in love and concern for others. Amen.

Page 430

Grant that all married persons who have witnessed these vows may find their lives strengthened and their loyalties confirmed. Amen.
Grant that the bonds of our common humanity, by which all your children are united one to another, and the living to the dead, may be so transformed by your grace, that your will may be done on earth as it is in heaven; where, O Father, with your Son, and the Holy Spirit, you live and reign in perfect unity, now and for ever. Amen.

The Blessing of the Marriage

The people remain standing. The husband and wife kneel, and the Priest says one of the following prayers

Most gracious God, we give you thanks for your tender love in sending Jesus Christ to come among us, to be born of a human mother, and to make the way of the cross to be the way of life. We thank you, also, for consecrating the union of man and woman in his Name. By the power of your Holy Spirit, your out the abundance of your blessing upon this man and this woman. Defend them from every enemy. Lead them into all peace. Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts, a mantle about their shoulders, and a crown upon their foreheads. Bless them in their work and in their companionship; in their sleeping and in their waking; in their joys and in their sorrows; in their life and in their death. Finally, in your mercy, bring them to that table where your saints feast for ever in your heavenly home; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Page 431

or this  
O God, you have so consecrated the covenant of marriage that in it is represented the spiritual unity between Christ and his Church: Send therefore your blessing upon these your servants, that they may so love, honor, and cherish each other in faithfulness and patience, in wisdom and true godliness, that their home may be a haven of blessing and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The husband and wife still kneeling, the Priest adds this blessing

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord mercifully with his favor look upon you, and fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace; that you may faithfully live together in this life, and in the age to come have life everlasting. Amen.

The Peace

The Celebrant may say to the people The peace of the Lord be always with you.

People And also with you.

The newly married couple then greet each other, after which greetings may be exchanged throughout the congregation.

When Communion is not to follow, the wedding party leaves the church. A hymn, psalm, or anthem may be sung, or instrumental music may be played.

Page 432

At the Eucharist

The liturgy then continues with the Offertory, at which the newly married couple may present the offerings of bread and wine.

Preface of Marriage

At the Communion, it is appropriate that the newly married couple receive Communion first, after the ministers.

In place of the usual postcommunion prayer, the following is said

O God, the giver of all that is true and lovely and gracious: We give you thanks for binding us together in these holy mysteries of the Body and Blood of your Son Jesus Christ. Grant that by your Holy Spirit, N. and N., now joined in Holy Matrimony, may become one in heart and soul, live in fidelity and peace, and obtain those eternal joys prepared for all who love you; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

As the wedding party leaves the church, a hymn, psalm, or anthem may be sung, or instrumental music may be played.

Page 433

My husband and I were married in the Episcopal church that I grew up in, using this ceremony. Here's the thing. Lots of people go to weddings. It's a fun party, right? I know that we printed out the ceremony, including the verses that we chose, and the appropiate responses from the witnesses. I'm pretty sure that most of our guests read along and responded as written.

Did you see this part?

The Celebrant then addresses the congregation, saying
Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?
People We will.

We all pretty much know the vows that the new husband and new wife make. Some people even change them around (or write entirely new ones) to skirt around things that are "too hard" or "not liberated enough". But what about the one that the guests make to do all in [their] power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?

Do people really do that? In my experience, the vast majority of people think that "being a good friend" means encouraging their "friend" to do whatever will make them happy. Right now. Even if it's selfish and not in the best interest of the friend's family and loved ones or upholding their marriage.

There's a 50% divorce rate. It's okay, it's normal. People change. On to the next one, on to the next chance at "happiness". Things get tough? It's okay, that's no way to live. Move on out, see your kids when you can, write a check to their mom each month, and you'll be considered a "good enough dad". OR, kick that loser out. He doesn't have any right to hold you accountable to anything, He's not your parent, he can't tell you what to do! Take the kids, you're the mother, they'll be just fine seeing him every other weekend... Don't go compromising or putting anyone else first (especially your spouse!). You sure don't want to be seen as a doormat. Stand up for yourself! If you don't look out for yourself, who will?

A person who is determined to work on her marriage shouldn't be seen as especially admirable or particularly strong. She should be normal. She should be supported by her friends and bolstered up when things go from rough to really difficult. She should be encouraged when things seem nearly hopeless. But she shouldn't be wierd. Her friends should not be handing her business cards for their own divorce lawyers or offering advice that worked for them in their own divorces. They should not be encouraging her to gather evidence or get down to the courthouse asap to get custody, alimony, and child support orders in - to make sure that she'll be "okay". A person who has left his marriage should not be encouraged or celebrated. He should be counseled and lovingly reminded of his vows. He should be supported by his friends to make every attempt to work things out with his wife, not pushed into the arms of whatever lonely woman is available. A man that goes back to his wife should not be seen as weak, spineless, or "whipped". A marriage that has been rescued is something to celebrate, and, way too often, it's just not.

Sigh. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I'm That Mom

I know that every mom anywhere thinks that her Snowflake is the Smartest Ever, or, at least, the Most Clever Ever Kid to Walk The Earth.

My husband's aunt is on the Board of Directors at the local Lutheran School.  She called this morning because it came to her attention over the weekend that they have 5 kids enrolled in the Pre-K program.  One of those kids is 3 years old.  She wanted to know if I was interested in seeing if we could get my older daughter in on that action.

My older daughter will turn 3 in 13 days.

In the state of Oklahoma, children must be 5 years old on September 1 to enter Kindergarten.  My kid will be almost 6 when she's legally allowed to start her (outside the home) school career in this state.  My kid takes after her parents and is smarter than the average bear (in my very humble opinion).  I remember being bored in school.  My husband remembers being bored in school.  My husband and I were also among the younger students in our class.  We have talked about the situation and decided to put her in some sort of preschool, then do either Lutheran Private or public school Kindy and re-evaluate as we go through the early grades.  I don't know that I'm cut out to homeschool, and my hope is that the very small classes at the Lutheran school would give her the flexibility to read up (or science up, or math up, or whatever) with higher grades if she's not being challenged in her "appropiate" grade.

We do have the option to "try it out", and to try it out on a M-W-F schedule.  (The Pre-K program is officially M-F, 8:15-3, and does include nap/rest time.)

So... am I crazy for considering this?  Is it nuts to put my 3 year old in a class designed for kids up to two years older than she is?  Am I setting her up to fail?  Am I That Mom?  What am I not thinking of here?

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Very Small Worry

Long story short, my younger daughter was very happily hanging out in the upper half of the growth charts through her four month well baby check.  At her six month check, she'd started sliding (41% - height, 32% - weight).  No worries, her sister did the same thing.  But by her nine month check, she'd slid to -1% height and 11% - weight.  Still okay.  At her twelve month check, she was at 3% - height and 7% - weight.  Our pediatrician asked for a 15 month well baby visit to check her growth.

In the last nine months, my fifteen-month-old has grown 3 inches and gained 3 lbs., 4 ozs, which puts her in the 8% - height and -1% - weight.  She's been wearing the same clothes for well over half her life.

We've done bloodwork.  We've done more bloodwork.  We have still more bloodwork scheduled for next week.

So far, they've found a high number of atypical lymphocites, which points to the probability of a long term viral something, and slightly elevated tsh, which could mean a thyroid something.  We're re-running the CBC to check the lymphocytes and doing a thyroid panel next week.
Other than that, her chemistries are normal.  Her platelets are fine.  Her iron is fine.  They did a respiratory study, which came back fine.  The front-runners in the viral arena are CMV and Epstein-Barr Virus - she tested negative for both of them.

The Pediatrician doesn't think it's related to her heart at all.  He listed off 5 or 6 things that we would have seen that we haven't, so....

I'm loading her up with Pediasure, avacados, and butter/whipped cream/olive oil every chance I get.  What say you, blog readers?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

When those Smith Girls decide to start getting on with it...

... They get on with it. 
4 weddings in 5 years (2003-2008) brought us from being "The Smith Girls" to the "Smith-Laumooretskers".

Starting with the First Addition (July, 2007) and including the Latest Addition, born at 1:41 this afternoon, there are now 6 Laumooretsker Offspring.

My oldest niece was 14 months old when my older daughter was born.  My older daughter was 14 months old when my oldest nephew was born.  My oldest nephew was 5 months old when my younger daughter was born.  My younger daughter was 13 1/2 months old when my youngest nephew was born.  My youngest nephew is 7 weeks old today, and my youngest niece is hours old.

We've got a Plan.  It includes taking over the world.

I totally should have known that a Google Image Search for "lots of kids" would bring up mostly images of one particular very large, debt-free family from Arkansas and a certain kinda-creepy guy with multiple wives that got ran encouraged to move out of Utah...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What Do You Say?

My friend, James, was diagnosed a few years ago, as a young man, with a rare type of "old people" cancer.  He had a wife and three small children that he loved very much.  In one of our talks, he said that he was able to keep on keeping on because he had Faith.  He knew that God was taking care of him, that God has a Plan, and that His plan was better than James's.

James said that he was so grateful that he had Faith, because he didn't know how someone who didn't Believe could manage to keep from curling up in a ball and just giving up.

This thought was echoed by my friend, Stacie, when her infant son was diagnosed with a very rare, nearly always fatal kind of cancer.  Faith was what kept her going, gave her the strength to fight, and comforted her when Cash lost his earthly battle, but won the Heavenly one.

Last week, my husband's coworker, who was also the Branch Manager's 23-year-old son, died in a horrific accident on the job.  The responding Highway Patrol officers identified the vehicle by running the tags on the trailer that he was pulling and came back to my husband's workplace to ask the person in charge who would have been in possession of the truck and trailer, and hopefully, get next of kin information.  Obviously, if they had known that they were speaking to Jacob's next of kin, their delivery would have been a bit different. 

My husband had to step into his mentor's shoes to handle filing insurance claims, workman's comp paperwork, notifying the appropiate brass at Corporate, pulling in crews from all over the region to keep their small store running, and also comforting the man that has come closest to filling the father role that my "father"-in-law voluntarily left vacant.  Thing is, Rick, (my husband's boss) isn't a Believer. 

What does one say to a non-believer that is in the middle of a horrific, tragic storm?  All of the comforting things that my Wonderful Husband could come up with were things that his friend doesn't believe.  They brought no comfort.  They brought no understanding.  They brought no peace.  All that was left was "We're here for you.  We love you.  We know that your heart is breaking, and we think that it sucks, too."

Jacob's parents are a mess.  They're going through the motions, and both of them have dead eyes.  Rick is clinging to his wife, my husband and the other guy that he's mentored "since [they] were pups".  The memorial service was yesterday, and it was a fill-in-the-blank memorial service.  Prayers - check.  Pictures - check.  Stranger relating stories that he got third hand from whatever family and friends he could corner - check.  Maybe we should throw in a song - check.  It ended with an announcement that the family was thankful to everyone for coming, but that they were not prepared to greet anyone at this time, so they would be exiting first and then the rest of us would be dismissed.

They're curling up into their own little balls, and the people that love them are forced to stand on the sidelines and find something to do with our hands.