Tag Archives: Death

Chasing Memories

I am going to preface this by saying that this will be all over the place.  I apologize to you for that.  I usually like to have an idea and just write it out and see where it goes.  Tonight though, I have so many things in my head.

Today was somber and beautiful.  It was wonderfully warm, windy, but a warm wind.  Today we laid my Uncle Bob to rest.  Girl1 came with me; she had never been to a military funeral.  Uncle Bob served for over 20 years, so it was no surprise to me that he would be buried with military honors.

There is a beauty to it; a beauty that breaks your heart.  As soon as the guns salute, the bugle plays, you feel it deep inside.  The flag ceremony and presentation is somber.  It seems like such a contradiction that such a beautiful day such sad activities were going on.

It was a beautiful service.  I am honored to have been able to witness it.  I won’t write too much more about that since I have posted my homage.  

While we were there, my immediate family did stop at my Grandparent’s grave on my mother’s side.  They are also buried there.  We set off, and I found it right away.  

Oh, my Grandmother.  A complete force to be reckoned with.  She taught me how to shuffle cards and play Boggle.  I remember countless hours of just playing cards, or games of Boggle and her winning every single time.  I asked her once, “Why won’t you let me win?”.  She just looked at me and put down the cards.  Her answer was this, “I won’t let you win.  One day you will, and when that day comes it will be because you beat me and not because I handed it to you.”  This, I still carry with me to this very day.  If I want something, I will have to work for it.  I did beat her one day and I was so proud of myself because she was untouchable at Rummy or Boggle.  I can also still shuffle a mean deck of cards.

My Grandfather, well, he was also someone who taught me a lot of things.  He taught me that very manly men could get very much into soap operas.  Also, he introduced me to many of the wonders of the game shows.  He loved word searches and crosswords, and though I never picked up the crosswords, I still enjoy word searches.  He made dinner every night, and I remember many times of him helping me with my bike, teaching me to put my chain on.

When we were leaving, we saw one gravestone that had rocks on it, with a card tied around it.  It was a windy day and the card was open.  It said “Happy 55th anniversary, I love you.”  My sister cried, and I held her.  I understood, the overall emotion, the simple beauty of love that would have someone tying a card to a gravestone, because to them it isn’t just a gravestone.  It is their love.  It is their Uncle, it is their Grandparents.  

Tonight, I will unwind after the rest of my day, which involved working.  I had the perfect project for today though.  It involved calling people and connecting.  One woman made me cry (which wasn’t hard today) because she told me that I made the difference for her.  I had an email in my mailbox from an agent who spoke to their Insured and they were so grateful that a large company could have so much compassion.  Today was all about compassion, humanity, and understanding that we are all one.

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image from http://downdogyoga.net/ 

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The Table

Yesterday began with a fight, today with a passing.  Uncle Bob passed away after a long battle and he was one of the most fierce warriors out there.  I remember quite a few times being told that he wasn’t doing well, and the odds were not in his favor, yet he kept going.  I hope I can apply as much strength and fierceness to my battles as he did his. 

A few months ago, maybe around 6 months or so ago, Uncle Bob moved to a facility where he would spend the rest of his days.  He had left behind a fully furnished apartment and bestowed upon me a gift.  He gave me a table.  When I first moved, I had procured myself the Wal-Mart special table.  I remember it was kinda of comical because there were 5 people at the house, but the table only fit 4.  Someone (and yes, it is me) did not think ahead to maybe purchase a table that everyone could sit at together.  So we have a stick out counter, and a stool like chair, and 4 people would sit at the table, while one took the time out chair at the counter.  We rotated positions, so not one person was in time out every day.  

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Seriously, this existed.

He gifted me with his table.

This was a table with an insert.  It had 6 chairs.  That was one more than even needed!  A whole extra chair!  No one had to sit at the time out counter again, or wouldn’t if everyone was home for dinner, which always doesn’t happen.  Still, a whole extra chair!

I never realized the importance of a table.  How one thing can be such a hub of activity.  Especially when it is big enough to fit everyone.  The table has already hosted a Thanksgiving and Christmas, and not just any Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the first ones I have put on in my home.  

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Here is Uncle Sal, at the table, enjoying some quality time at Thanksgiving.  He isn’t in the time out chair.

It has hosted hours of artwork.  Sequins, and glue; flowers and cards.  Girl1 even made news at the table when she made a card for a girl who just needed support.  She made some art, shared her soul, all at the table.

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Girl1 hates this picture and it keeps coming up.  I love this picture because it is love.

This table is not like any other table.  It isn’t just a flat surface.  It has been mountains, villages, dungeons, campfires, as well as many other things when we gather around to play D&D.  People joining us at this table to leave the real life behind for a few hours and go on adventures.  The last adventure we were kidnapped and the table was a gladiator style arena filled with people looking for a good show.  We didn’t disappoint.

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That is 10 Orcs!  10 agressive orcs!

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The elixir made her voice like sunshine rays.  She inspired us to victory!

It is a place for long conversations over cups of coffee.  A place to come home and just fold your arms on it and put your head down after a long day.  It is a gathering spot for all occasions, happy and sad.  Some days it is the place you put on some Pandora and just connect with each other.  It was the spot for puzzle building.

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Still isn’t finished yet.  We’ll get there.

When is a table not a table?  When it is where you connect with your family, friends, and loved ones.

Uncle Bob, you didn’t just bestow upon me a table.  You gave me a spot where everyone has a chair, and there is always an extra one for whomever needs it.  You gave me and the family a place to connect, to laugh, to cry, to be comforted, to be loved.  You gave our home a center for a hub of activities, and it will continue to be so.  Thank you for that gift, and for always being someone who would smile, give a funny sarcastic comment, and teach all that knew you that life deserves laughter.  We will always have a chair ready for you.

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