Where are you and what are you doing? Happy sixth Birthday! Does that even mean anything in your timeless world?
Your parents hosted a huge birthday party in your honor today. It was an indoor picnic in the 27th Ward building on P Street. It's the ward where your funeral was held. You wore a white dress that Grandma Sharon made, and your coffin was white, the size of a picnic basket. Are you still wearing that dress?
Many of your aunts, uncles and cousins, along with friends were there to remember you. I saw your youngest brother, Louis, his face smeared with frosting from eating one of the ladybug cupcakes. Elliot sat at the children's activity table where there were ladybug stickers and colored paper. We associate you with ladybugs. Lucy Ladybug. I think Pop-pop found that verse about Lucy Ladybug. We see ladybugs and we think of you.
The twelve-minute slide show of your life was mesmerizing and painful. Those short four months and your subsequent death, cracked our universe. You were courageous, Lucy. I think of you as determined--a fighter against all odds. Courageous.
After the slide show, your dad stood on the edge of the stage and held a ladybug pinata from the end of a rod while the kids swung at it with a bat until it split open and the candy fell onto the floor. One of your cousins used her skirt as a bag for the candy she picked up. In this world, we're all crazy about sugar. We ate sandwiches and potato salad and fruit too.
Later, we walked outside into the sunshine, crossed the street to the cemetery, to your grave site, which was decorated with flowers and little pots of pansies that your mother handed out as favors. Your parents opened up the packets of live ladybugs onto the marble bench with your name inscribed in it, and we gathered them onto our hands and let them crawl up and down our arms. One disappeared under my sleeve.
I'm missing you, Lucy. I'm missing you.
P.S. Your Aunt Marcia stole ugly plastic salad spoons from the church.