Rukan left early this morning for Ohio, for the funeral of her Aunt Jo. Aunt Jo was Ru’s “Second Mom”, a truly saintly woman, obviously touched by divinity, and the most beloved elder in the family. Jo was the first of Sito Leza’s nine children to pass. It’s The Beginning. “This is going to be a hard year,” said Ru’s mom.
Rocky and I had just crawled sleepily out of bed when the phone rang.
“I just wanted to let you know, there’s a dead bunny out on the corner. Hit by a car. You might want to distract Ry away from it…”
“Is it mangled?” I went to the sunroom window and looked out. “Yep. Mangled.”
“Yeah, it’s a mess.”
“Oh, that’s too bad…” We have wild rabbits living under our shed; we can see them at dawn, lollopping around the back yard.
“Mama, what’s mangled?” Rocky came trotting over, with that particularly sleuthful look she gets when she catches us talking about something we shouldn’t be talking about within her earshot.
“Gotta go,” I told Ru, and successfully steered Ry in another direction. It didn’t last long; the kid is sharp, and she is too curious about the world to let anything slide by. When we started off in the car to run our errands, she peered out toward where I had been looking earlier. “Mama, what’s that? Something died in the street.”
Damn. “It was a rabbit.”
“Did it get hit by a car?” “Yes, Baby.”
Rocky was quiet for a few moments. Then she piped, “Can I see it when we get home?”
“No, Ry.” “Ohhh, why?” “Well… I just don’t want you to get upset about it.” “I won’t, Mama. I promise.”
“Mama, death is a natural part of life.”
I smiled a little, turning into the shopping center, and shook my head. She had me there.