At one point, I found myself standing behind the rest of the gathered, at an emotional remove. With the street lights positioned as they were, Stu’s family and friends stood in tableau and it was – we were – beautiful.
There was Twila, holding her great-niece, 11-week-old Regan in her arms with daughter Jess at her side, the visual of Regan in Jess’s arms before she handed the baby off to her mother still fresh in my mind’s eye – a double-exposure of a memory.
Daniel stands, arms uplifted from just having wished the lantern into the air. Friend Kip stands in the street in the foreground with sweet Kinsley, Regan’s little sister, standing in 2-year-old rapt stillness at his side.
All the rest, sundry sisters and brothers, nieces and nephews and friends, radiate out from the center axis that is Twila.
Light and shadows play over this moment frozen in time like Stu’s imprint does upon all our lives.
And in that moment, we know we are blessed.