Day 21, Altar
On their frantic rush through airports to get back home to us, my parents called a family friend, Sister Anne, to tell her of Carpenter's death. When they finally arrived at the hospital, Sister Anne had already beaten down the door of Father Brian's house--right in the middle of the night. She demanded that we were important to her, and he needed to be there for us the minute we were ready. And he was. The morning after Carpenter was died, Father Brian showed up in my hospital room. Right there at the foot of my bed, this kind man performed a baptism for my sweet baby. And it was an absolutely beautiful service. It couldn't have been more intimate. It was in a cold hospital room with no fancy clothes or foods or presents, but it was perfect. It's the only sacrament my son will ever be able to celebrate, but at least we were there, and we got to experience this rite together. My family just stood in their place, and my niece climbed up on my lap while I cried. This was our altar, and this is my grief.