Day One: Family
Usually July the 28th is a very busy day at the the McClain house. Pots and pans would scratch across the stove tops, sizzling of food adding to the screams of children blowing up balloons and throwing streamers. The sweet smell of cake and churros would drift thought the house, making everyone’s mouth water. But this time, it was different. On this July 28th, the house was quiet. There were no streamers or balloons. Not a smile or laughter. Just silence. Everyone had solemn looks on their faces, tears on some. There was still the smell of cake that lingered throughout the house, but this time, it didn’t seem as sweet. And instead of the birthday boy getting to eat the first slice and sit at the top of the table, there was a lit candle in his place along with wrinkled photograph. “Now children, we all know that this is a special day. It always will be. Your hermano Lance will come home to us. We may have to miss a few more birthdays, but he will come back home to us.” Lance’s mom swallowed around the lump in her throat, felling tears begin to form in the corner of her eyes. “But until then, we have to lift our chins up, and keep are spirits high. Lance wouldn’t want us morning over him like we’ve lost him. So let us wipe away our tears and dig in to this delicious cake! It’s Lance favorite after all!” The family nodded at her, and the clinks of forks on plates filled the silence. Lance’s dad gently squeezed her hand before getting a piece for them both. They all ate in solemn silence, no one mentioning the tears that fell from their mother’s face onto the slice of cake on her plate.