Grammy died on Mardi Gras. She was the center of the party right to the end. Even on the last night, she held on while her family gathered around her laughing and joking. When the party was over and people headed home she let herself go home. The whole thing reminds me of Saint Francis constantly thanking God for Sister Death as he died.
I should have written all this sooner. At the time I felt utterly adrift. For my entire life the one thing that could be counted on was an unlocked door in Delanco and a barrage of words whenever Grammy realized you were there. I’ve seen both of my childhood homes sold. I’ve even seen my Dad move away from my home town after my Mother died. Life seemed fleeting and unanchored but always there was the absolute permanence of Grammy.
Now she’s gone. And for a moment I started to float away. But life is a circle, and an anchor appeared to root me again. I hate people that make death all about themselves. I’ll give myself a good kick in the pants later on.
I’m three for four on family eulogies. We’re so good at this funereal thing, the undertaker comes over to drink beer while we collectively make the arrangements. The Olympic year curse has struck again (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010). We soldier on as a family, happy to be together in sadness and in celebration, secure in the thought I had when Grandpop died:
If his only monument is our large, loud, happily scrapping family it’s still the best monument to any person I can think of.
Requiescat In Pace