Sunday was a pretty dismal weather day. It was cool. It was overcast. The weather forecast was for a deluge.
Mrs. Spit and I were worried. We had up to 30 people coming to our house to be there with us as we planted our Weeping Birch in memory of our infant son. As we left church in the morning and the rain was spitting, I recalled the song by the late Stevie Ray Vaughn - The Sky is Crying. The sky was crying when this master of the electric guitar died in a helicopter crash, and it was crying as we were getting ready to remember the short life that touched our lives and the lives of many of our friends. It's not a coincidence that my lovely gardener wife picked a tree that would be perpetually weeping for our son.
As I think back to that fateful day, exactly 6 months ago yesterday, when the doctors told us that Gabriel would have to be born now, or the love of my life could die as well. I cried. I bawled. Tears ran down my face like a mountain stream. The hopes and dreams of fatherhood had slipped from my fingers, and I couldn't do anything.
Yesterday, we planted our tree. With a group of 20 friends around us, we placed it in the ground, in some good dirt. We shoveled the dirt into the hole, and gave the tree a good drink of water.
We followed with good food shared among everyone. People brought good dishes to go with the slab of roast beast that was on the rotisserie all afternoon.
People left us alone together, tired, but dry. Yes, we spent the whole time in the backyard. The weather held off until just after I got the cover back on the grill. I'd like to think that Gabe standing there, please with the gesture of remembrance that we made. We'll see him seated in Heaven one day. We'll never forget him, even though we were only blessed with his life for a scant thirty minutes.
I can only hope that if we have a next child, that the sky will smile rather than cry for them.