Sunday morning, I spoke at the memorial service for my two friends who meant a lot in my Civil War reenacting, over the years. One was the selfsame Chuck Fulks, the other Ed Pico. It was hard, very hard, to get up and talk without my voice breaking, but I got through, and folks said I summed up the essence of both of these men very well, later. My friend Bob only made it through two sentences before he broke down and couldn't go on. I saw him and my friend Gene standing forlornly together, a little later in the ceremony, and came up between them and hugged them. And both hugged me desperately back. I was the intermediary: they couldn't do that as two men supporting each other, but I was a friend of both, and our late friend Ed. I was surprised that I was one of the few people speaking. Maybe a lot of folks just couldn't. It was nice, with the cannon salute, and the draped caisson and the horse with the empty saddle. Fit send off for two men who had both been artillery, and my friends.
But it was odd, because the memories were all mixed with that also of Lia. The black armband I wore was still the same one I wore for her, earlier this year. I'm feeling a little too close to being Last Man Standing.
But I was glad to be able to wear the St. Barbara medal at the ceremony, as I am sure both Chuck and Ed would have appreciated it.