It’s been quiet here for two months now. Life has a way of doing that to people, I suppose. One day, you’re full of interesting shit to say and in the next… you’ve got nothing.
August was difficult month. My father passed away suddenly, although perhaps not entirely unexpectedly. The night before the morning I received the call, I had an inkling. An odd sense of precognition that warned me of exactly what was to come in a matter of hours. I just knew… and yet, I ignored it. I didn’t call him that evening in spite of what I felt, because anyone who knew my father knows that you don’t ever drop in on him unexpectedly or phone him when he might be busy watching The Weather Channel. It would infuriate him in ways I could never fathom; that one simple disruption would cause a tiny ripple in the flow of his entire day, and as the undulation multiplied and slowly grew in size, in his mind the reverberation of it heralded the systematic destruction of his entire world.
Even though “Weather On The 8’s” is replayed on an unending loop, every eight minutes.
He was an odd duck, that one. Still, I should have called him, anyway.
My mother and I, along with my brother, seamlessly made all of the arrangements without argument or sense of discord. The man himself had wanted nothing in way of a funeral procession; we agreed on a small service with military honors at the cemetery chapel before interment. He may have rolled his eyes at my black “funeral” slacks, but I don’t think he would have minded them entirely.
Funerals are intended for the people left behind, more so than for those who did the leaving.
My mother is handling her life as it comes, taking care of one thing after another as her own mother does, and as her aunt does, the way her grandmother and her great-grandmother did. There is a resilience throughout the women of our clan, I think; husbands are always lost too soon and most of our women live decades beyond those shattering losses. Such is the way of a long life. My great aunt is 93, my grandmother is 88. Their mother lived until the age of 93. Female longevity is in our bloodline.
Now watch me get hit by a bus today. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the ass and a hilarious twist of fate?
At least there’s a life insurance policy in place now. I had been hounding my husband about getting them set up for the last ten months or so because the older I get, the more I am apparently turning into my grandmother—a woman who has all of her ducks in a row. Her entire funeral is arranged and paid for so she wouldn’t have to worry about the family “dealing with it” when the time comes. I haven’t gone so far yet, but give me a little more time and I will.
We rarely ever need those types of fallback plans, it’s only when they aren’t already in place that they become a necessity.
Here’s to living forever.