Today I sit at home, preparing to go. I am surrounded by my beautiful girlfriend, my brother, and my sister. Today was supposed to be my mom's wedding. After so many years of nothingness, of drugs, and crap, and just a rough life with her, she was supposed to be married. And to a wonderful guy too. "Big Al", though I don't really want to know why she calls him that, he doesn't look that big to me. ;) My whole family is here, from Tennessee and Virginia and Florida, and just everywhere. I was the best man in the ceremony, and my girlfriend the maid of honor.

Instead, today I am burying my mother.

Last Sunday, when I left church, my fire department pager went off. It was my chief, and he needed me to stop by the station immediately. It was on my way home, and so I stopped in. He was the one who told me. She was sleeping Saturday night, and just didn't wake up. No reason why, no drug overdose, or being shot, she just died. And it has been hard going through all of that. I've never planned a funeral before, and trying to discuss things like costs and money and procedures when you are talking about your mom has taken a toll on me and my whole family. She was only 46, and it has been really hard.

But somehow I will get up, I will gather up my brother and sister, and together we will go to that funeral home, and celebrate those things that we have to celebrate. We will look beyond the past few years to the time when she was beautiful and perfect and everything. We will remember and forget all in one sentence. And most of all we will love each other and her together.

We are a family.

Thank you to all of the E2 family who have expressed their condolences and prayers and thoughts. It makes me proud to be a part of such an outstanding community of friends.