Even when someone is not dead, gone, the moment that you remember they usually would be providing you with some sort of support and encouragement even when you do not need it, that's when it really hits you.
For the last five years, I've been the coordinator for an event that our Boy Scout troop participates in. We do a huge burger burn. It is our BIG fundraiser. Huge. We can make between 2,000 and 4,000 dollars with this event. It keeps us going. One year, we made 800 bucks because of the weather. It sucked. I think that was the second year I ran this. The last two years have been huge. This year, also will be huge. The forecast is upper 60s, no rain, light humidity... there are 40 vendors at the event, and literally hundreds of people are going to be lining up to get burgers, dogs, and sausages from us.
It is kind of a big deal.
I never wanted to take on the responsibility of throwing this shindig. I always doubt my ability to be organized enough, plan well enough. And each year on the Thursday before the event at our BSA Troop meeting, Marie would be there and would lovingly ask me things like ...
Do you have enough charcoal?
Is everyone lined up for picking up the ice donations in the morning?
Are there enough parents on grill?
Will there be older Scouts there at the very beginning to set up the tents?
Do you need me for anything?
My goal was to say yes to everything except the last one. I'm all set, honest. Everything is all set. I am good. Things are good. Things are organized. This person bought that. This person covered this. All the ice is all set.
And I knew it would always please her.
Last year she was too sick to attend for long. She was there for a few minutes, and it was nice to see her beaming and smiling at the boys and the dads as they rocked out in serving the customers and cooking the food.
This year, everything is under control. With a few minor hiccups.
Our charcoal and ice supplier fell through this year so right now I'm scrambling for ice and got it all figured out and lined up. It's all good. I got this. I bought the charcoal (such a deal) and will just donate it to the Troop myself. The ice situation is alright. Everything else feels really in control.
But I feel like I'm missing something. I'm missing that check-in, that status report. That time with her where we talk about all these things.
And it feels so empty.
Don't get me wrong, don't ever get me wrong -- I love our new committee chair to death. She is on top of me and others making sure everything ins in place. She's plot walking (they move us every year) to make sure we've got the right amount of space. She's communicating with Park & Rec (which I so appreciate her doing) while I communicate with the Troop Parents. She's perfect for me as a partner in crime in executing all of this.
But tonight I miss Marie.
I may just go to the hospice tonight and sit with her and let her know everything is all set for the event on Saturday. She doesn't have to worry. Tons of ice and coolers. Boys lined up for the pitching of the carpark tents. Both of them.
We got this. We do.