Today we had a couple of sad duties to perform.
Grandpa joined us in “Minnie” and we drove to the cemetery a few towns away.
We parked, loaded up Catherine and Elisabeth in the double stroller and took them to visit the grave of their triplet sister, our daughter Anna Alexandra Toby. Today was the second anniversary of her birth. She was born early, at 25 weeks and 1 ½ pounds birth weight and the odds were all against her. She survived for six months, and bravely endured three horribly traumatic abdominal surgeries before she passed away.
We brought Anna some freshly blooming lilacs from Grandpa’s garden and said a prayer over her new headstone.
Then we scattered some of the ashes that we had brought with us from Anna’s aunt Gail, Steve’s sister, who died last fall. She never had the chance to see the babies but we know she loved them anyway.
Then we walked over about 50 feet to the resting place of Anna’s grandmother Marcia Toby. There we scattered the remainder of her daughter Gail’s ashes and left her a huge bouquet of lilacs from her own garden. We said a prayer for her and talked about how delighted she would be to see her granddaughters toddling around outside on such a beautiful day.
Each of us shed a few tears that day.
We went back to the house, did some shopping and laundry duties, then came the high point of the day for the girls: we walked them in the stroller to the nearby park where there are scads of Canada geese and a small menagerie of animals on display – goats, ducks, coyotes, pot-bellied pigs, ferrets, chickens, donkeys, rabbits, deer, emus, foxes, and assorted other critters. We threw them some bread and told the girls all their names. They looked on with some interest, but are still a little bit too young to be truly fascinated by the animals. However, the next stop got them laughing and squealing: the swings. We pushed them for quite a long time, as high as we dared, and still (as always) Catherine threw quite a little tantrum when it was that sad time to get back into the stroller.
Late that evening I was delighted to find that one of Grandpa Toby’s neighbors kindly gave me a pretty good unsecured wifi signal, enough to upload my Day 1 report and download 3 days worth of email. Now Grandpa is plotting how he can tap into their broadband.