I recognized all of them. Aging hippies assembled to pay their last respects. Some held toddlers in their arms, their grandchildren who never experienced the communal lifestyle they had afforded their own children. Friends my age, whisked up by parents once intent upon following their dreams of mutual goals and shared ideals. They left the material world in their wake, only to be sucked back into the mainstream lifestyle by the lure of money and shiny new things. I hadn’t seen most of them in twenty years.
My husband grabbed my arm as if to steady me, even though I didn’t need his assistance. He needed to be needed, and I wanted to be left alone. I didn’t feel like being touched, soothed, or consoled – not today.
My two pre-adolescent daughters, named for my mother – her real name – followed close behind and refused to understand the solemn nature of the occasion. What else could I expect? I had severed ties with my parents to pursue what I had convinced myself was an ugly truth, and I waited ...