19 April 2014

In this episode of "You Can't Take Me Anywhere"

One of my childhood friends lost her dad the other day.  It was a farming accident so very unexpected.  He was in his late sixties so still considered young these days.  He leaves behind a teenaged grandson and a toddler grandson as well as his son & daughter.  I've known his daughter since she was twelve and I was thirteen.  We were roommates one hundred years ago.

Over time I've come to the belief that us mere humans are here until either our "jobs" are done or our presence is no longer needed.  Scoff, I know, that our presence is always needed but it's just how I see it.  Imagine a clock with all the moving gears and hands.  I imagine our lives like that: moving gears and every once in a while, everything lines up and the hands move.  Sometimes the gears line up, the hands move, and our time is finished.

Wow, that's more poetic than it sounded in my head. Totally unintentional.

Anyway, this is the first of two memorials I will be attending.  This one was at the American Legion and in my hometown.  Pretty casual yet redneck traditional. (i.e. drinks, flannel, and conduct bordering on rude if you're not redneck yet there was an Air Force Color Guard)

As I arrived, my friend's mom was greeting everyone.  She's British and kind of like a character from Absolutely Fabulous.  To give a clear picture: she says "You can hug me but don't spill my wine."  She was definitely doing the British stiff upper lip thing but was that unfiltered lady that I love.

Next came my friend.  I spotted her through the crowd and she was being hugged and manhandled by people.  I realized she probably was hating this a lot.  Not the loss of her dad because DUH but the whole having to interact with humankind part. 

Finally I reach her and we hug.  I told her that "There's nothing I can say.  There's nothing that will make this better."  I feel her start to break down so I continued "It will get better though. I promise you."  In the voice of a child I hear "No. No it won't." 

I hugged her tighter and told her "Yes, it will. It just doesn't feel like it RIGHT NOW."

Then this is where I should stop speaking but of course I didn't.  And this is where I tell you that Heidi is the one person that you can say anything to and she's totally down.

"Besides, Heid, you're part of the Dead Dad Club now.  Welcome."

I felt the weight of her head on my shoulder increase then she just started laughing.  Like loud laughing. Then I started laughing.  She straightened up, looked at me then just shook her head.  "This is why I'm here, To be irreverent and make you laugh inappropriately. My work here is done." I told her.

She just continued to laugh and shake her head. Someone approached us and she put herself in check - back into mourning mode and I moved on.

The service was nice.  The color guard procession and ceremony is always brutal.  Her elder brother, that everyone was in love with back in the day, spoke and did a wonderful job.  Heidi's son spoke and was very brave and eloquent.  Heidi said that Sam was speaking for her because "If I speak, there will be Eff Bombs."

And that's why we are still friends.

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