The girl drove through the snowstorm.
"Oh God please help me through this." she prayed to herself. Her children in the back seat were raising hell. The oldest in the passenger seat looked sad.
They don't even know, she thought, that I have never driven in snow before. Cars were passing her and flying through it. But she knew she had to do it.
It was her step-dad's funeral. She had missed the two night wake because she couldn't deal with death. Or thought she couldn't. Why do people have to die, why can't we all just live forever and be happy, she thought. It was only 6 days ago that her little brother and sister woke her up and informed her that their father died of a heart attack. She went to their moms house and immediately sat up with her all night....drinking coffee and talking of what had happened.
"It was right there, her mom said, he was lying right there when the paramedics came." She pointed to the spot on the floor with her toe. "That was just earlier tonight and now he is gone". Everyone sat around queitly soaking in each other's grief, that night.
The girl thought of how he had raised her and her brother, never doubting or calling them STEP children. She thought of his attempt to teach them to drive. How she almost killed them way back then when she almost led them over an embankment. How she wanted to narc on her brother and tell them he only knew how to drive because he stole the van everytime they went out to eat.
She smiled as the snow turned slushy on the windshield. He would never believe I am driving through the snow just for him. The road had hills and turns and snow, just what a paranoid freak driver like me needs. I must be cool, she thought, my kids don't even know I am shaking in side.
She saw the turn ahead to the gym where his funeral was. She pulled in the first spot that was available and grabbed her kids hands.
Deep breath. I can do this. She walked through the doors. Of course, as soon as she saw him, she broke down. Little brothers and sisters were by her side instantly. Somehow she got through to the burial.
Eleven children he left behind, and I am the oldest. she thought...and the weakest.
As he was being buried and the drum group was singing, a balloon broke free from a bouquet and made its way up into the cold snowy sky.
Her mom told her "He is telling us that it is ok, now. He left with his people because he knows we will be ok."
And just for the moment the whole world entertwined....and the girl knew everything was gonna be alright.