Monday, December 29, 2008

Good-Bye Grandpa Don

John lost his stepfather in the wee hours of the morning. Here is a repeat very early post about the Matron's mother-and stepfather-in-law-- one that sort of sums up her outlook. Life is full of good-byes, the terrible kind. So she loves this post. Good-bye, dear Donald. We will miss you.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

My mother and stepfather in-law are 73 and 83. They go to a funeral every week. Memorials and wakes are their primary social junket. After the service, they eat ham or egg-salad sandwiches and sip coffee. These gatherings exist in a unique temporal dimension: conversation shifts seamlessly between past and present, potent and trivial. They gossip. They decry the cost of gas and talk about whose grandchild appears headed down the worst road. They fall back fifty years to wedding nights, births, and communions. Disappointment and betrayals get yet another look. Really, I can't imagine (fill in the blank) is gone. Who makes the better rhubarb crisp? Then they pick up their plates and go home.

Today I put our dear dog Thurston's ashes in their new box and set them on the long smooth shelf next to my father's ashes.

I watch both boxes and think about my shelf, filling up.

15 comments:

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I am sorry for your family's loss, dear Matron.

God-Buddha-Oprah-Allah bless you all.

Kelly said...

Such a nice post. Virtual hugs to all.

thefirecat said...

...one stands above ground.

standing still said...

{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}

Jennifer said...

Peace.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I'm sorry for your family's loss. I can see why your mil loves this--it's beautiful.

stephanie (bad mom) said...

Lovely writing. So sorry for your family.

*blessings*

M said...

My thoughts are with your extended family for the loss of Grandpa Don.

sozzled said...

I am so sorry for your loss. You are spot on about the funeral luncheon; it isn't about the food, but about the gathering, the talking, and the feeding of ones soul. It is why I love serving funerals. It is so simple, yet so important.

Tammy said...

So sorry for your loss.

Julie said...

I'm so sorry for your family's loss. That's a beautiful post...I can see why it's a favorite.

Heather said...

So sorry.

Cha Cha said...

Oh, I am so sorry for your loss, sweet Matron.

MJ said...

I'm sorry your shelf is filling up. When I think of it, mine is filling up too, figuratively speaking. I guess the solace of it is that it means that we've cared for someone. I'd rather have a shelf filling up than one that sits empty.

Peace be with your family.

Rima said...

I am so sorry for your loss, Mary.