The chirp of magic markers sent up a chorus of sound in the otherwise silent family room—like an orchestra of crickets—as we each penned our individual messages of gratitude, of appreciation, and of love.
The minutes passed and still everyone wrote.
We had no idea what the others were writing.
When everyone had finished, we took our helium-filled balloons to the front yard, the yard she loved, filled with flowers and the aroma of the night breeze off of Lake Pend Oreille.
As one we sent our messages skyward, a rainbow of color against a blue canvas of sky.
We stood and watched, arms around each other as the nine balloons floated away to the east; one for each of us present—and one for Mom. We stood there watching until they had completely vanished on the distant eastern skyline—still huddled together in a small group.
Like a family.
Just like us.