Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Baby, A Passing, Great Friends, Great Food

A month ago when you looked at my summer calendar you would have noticed that not a lot of days had been scheduled. There was a friend in for a long weekend, a weekly dance class, a swim class, a baby due in July, and a beach trip at the end of summer. The rest of the days were going to be filled in spontaneously with "what do you feel like doing today" fun. Well, since the day school let out (and actually just before) our summer has been a whirlwind.
My dear friend, Nora, who was due July 4th had her baby 3 weeks early. Yes, the last day of school. So exciting!!! My old dear friend from high school, CB, was coming in for a long weekend and we were going to baseball games, the zoo, the National monuments, The Monkees concert, and then I was dropping her at the Baltimore Airport Monday morning where I continued my drive up to Boston to see the new baby and as my son is calling her his "new girlfriend".
Once in Boston we went by Fenway and Bug insisted on buying 'Fia a pink Red Sox baseball- I should mention here my son is obsessed with Red Sox Baseball- with his own allowance money.We saw the beautiful baby girl the next morning. She is stunning. And I am a firm believer that all babies are not cute, especially new ones, so I tell you honestly, this baby is beautiful. It was fantastic to see Nora and Jason and meet baby.
We drove home Wednesday, much to my son's disappointment. He loves Boston.
On Thursday, I found out a Boston friend had passed away. I was broken hearted. It was sudden. And I knew I had to be in Boston for the funeral, not only for my own goodbyes but to be there for his best friend. I have a lot of happy memories of Rajiv, laughing, getting into mischief, eating, trolling around and for cute boys together, "stalking" Tom Brady when he moved into his Comm Ave house (we would take the most inconveinent route just so we could walk past his house for a glimpse- never got one). I was also angry. We were supposed to meet up with him at the end of summer (yes part of the previously mention beach vacation) and he was only half way through the Martha Stewart Living subscription I had sent him, per his request. I was angry I didn't have one more day of laughing and mischief.
My husband had BBQ Battle in DC Friday night- Sunday night, where he stays in town and works around the clock competing and vending in BBQ. They took 2nd place in America's Best Sauce, and brought home a trophy!

Barely glancing at the trophy and definitely not getting enough rest we piled up and were off to Boston early Monday morning. My husband and son were going along to drive with me, so I wouldn't be alone on the drive, but I really wouldn't be seeing them again until Wednesday. We arrived and checked into our hotel. I directly went to my friend's house (with Apple Cake in hand) for dinner and conversation. I got to meet one of Rajiv's friends from years ago when he was fresh out of college, Janet. We ate a dynamite dinner, which you do at Becky's house every time. (I have mentioned her before in a post from Arubula's Kitchen) It was a night of light conversation, catching up, bonding, and preparing ourselves for the day ahead.nice
See a future blogpost for what we ate!
With heavy eyelids we all said our goodnights and I went back to my hotel. It was so nice to take an evening stroll through the streets of Back Bay, my old stomping ground, before catching a cab. It felt like I had flashed back several years ago and Rajiv was still there.
The next day we all met up and caravaned to the funeral. Somehow we crammed 4 adult people into my very small car. It was a traditional Indian funeral. I saw old friends, made new, a very new is who held my hand and rubbed my back when I needed it. Thank you, Megan!, couldn't have gotten through it without you. I was determined to have game face for the day, hold it together and be there, the rock, for Becky, I would allow myself to fall apart tomorrow. There were a lot of deep breaths taken and dark sunglasses.
We were headed from the funeral home for the procession to the cemetary when car accident #1 happened. (Yes, #1) No one was injured but a member of the procession had his car taken away by a flatbed. We made it to the cemetary without further incident, Janet and I bonding on a very long scenic drive of the South Shore. As we left the cemetary accident #2 happened when someone tried to run through the procession. The entire procession pulled to the side of the road (none of us knowing where we were going without following the limo/family) while firetrucks, ambulances, and police came down the road. I told you before Rajiv liked mischief and cute boys- he got plenty of both. It was the comic relief we needed after such a difficult time. Again, no one was injured, but unforutnately the car was not drivable. Janet and I bonded and laughed in my car thinking how much Rajiv would enjoy all this.
We finally did make it to the reception. It was a nice time to catch up with old friends I hadn't seen in years, meet old and new friends of Rajiv's. And just take a moment to pause before the drive back to town. We, once again 4 adults in little car, drove back to town for margarittas and munchies in Rajiv's honor. Old friends met up, there were laughs, a complete mess in the kitchen and an emptying of the cupboards, dancing, deliveries of more tequilla, pictures, and stories of Rajiv, and how he touched so many. I didn't get back to my hotel until 2am and I think we could have all talked til the sun rose, finding comfort in each other while silently processing the day we had. Rajiv would have loved it.
It was a very long drive home on Wednesday, not just metaphorically. I am happy to just have laundry to do today and silently process the past few weeks. I left Boston feeling wrapped in warmth of my dear friends, people I miss so much, but comfortable because there is a place of unconditional love, great food, and always a place where no matter what it'll be ok.

Rock on, Rajiv. I love you.
In Loving Memory of
Rajiv Bhatt