Mixed Salad of Thoughts

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Graveside humor

I thought about posting something on a lighter note but I'm still pre-occupied with loss, so I thought I'd combine the two and document a few of the things that have made me laugh in the past month.

Two days after my father died my mom was sitting on the couch and her phone rang with what was surely another person wanting to express their condolences. She turned off the ringer and sat and looked at it. It replied with a friendly beep telling her there was a new voice message. She shook her head. "I hate listening to my voicemail...It keeps making me cry."
"Yeah, I'm having the same problem with my phone" I replied. "You Nate?"
He shook his head, "Yep, me too."
"They really should get that fixed."
"Or maybe make it an option...like the 'Airplane Mode'...they could have a 'No Cry Mode' option."

Three weeks later...a few days after my grandmother died my friend Mara called me. She lost her mother earlier in the year after a long fight with pancreatic cancer and apparently lost her grandfather in the previous year as well.
"Hi Mara."
She wasted no time: "You know Valerie, it's not a competition."
I didn't even pause a moment before replying, "Well you know, they say when you learn a new skill you should practice it right away..."

We visited my father's burial place a couple of days after the funeral and saw the scattered flower arrangements that had been left there. We said a few prayers and made a few comments about what we could put there up until October when we could have a gravestone put in. My dad had a degree in Geology and we pondered whether the collection of radioactive rocks in the garage would kill the grass or "disturb his neighbors". Before leaving I left something on the grave--a can of RedBull--one of a flat Dad had bought at Sam's Club and often drank. "Hey Dad, enjoy...you know 'RedBull gives you wings!'"

The funeral procession for my Dad's Funeral was 80 cars long. We had a motorcycle cop ride along to stop traffic at intersections but still had to stop for a train, an ambulance, and a firetruck. I pondered that although Dad would hate driving this slow "he sure would like running all these reds and probably would love holding up this much traffic as well"

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