Tag Archives: Death

A Life, Remembered


Today’s Music: Pete Seeger – Turn Turn Turn
Days Til Spring: 73

This is a remembrance of my father in law, who passed away a few days ago.

An ordinary man. There will be no epic novels written of him. His name won’t be remembered in the history books. But a man, nonetheless, who lived a full and happy life, and who enjoyed himself all along the way.

Dinosaurs caught the imagination of the man. The fossils, the movements, the history. He studied them and grew intimately familiar with them. As a result, for many years, he served once a week as a Docent (someone visitors could ask questions about dinosaurs of) at the Museum of Natural History.

Music caught the ear of the man. He was already familiar with music, especially all the great folkies of the 50s and 60s. He already knew how to play piano, but this time he picked up a guitar. He forced his hand into the shapes of chords, again and again. Then, pushing on, he learned the positions on the neck and began doing more intricate finger picking.
He discovered middle-age and medieval music. On any given night, you could find him puzzling over obscure music notations, trying to figure out how that translated into English, and to the guitar and lute, which he taught himself to play. He delighted in picking out a tune for the first time, then realizing how similar it was to something he already knew, by a completely different name.
The lyrics too were a doorway to a world long gone. The ballads of the bards told a stylized history of life back then – serfdom, the actions of nobles, the difficulties of daily life. All these discoveries enriched his own life.

The birds caught the eye of the man. They entranced him. He already knew what a camera was, but now he went out and got serious equipment – cameras, lenses, filters. A high end printer so the physical copies would do justice to his digital images. He studied composition, light, color, all to bring his pictures closer to what his eye and his imagination saw.
On the wall behind me are five ultra-close-up images of flowers, a riot of color and swirls, that he took.
The last car he bought, a beat up standard transmission Jeep, was so he could get out to the marshes and preserves and photograph the wildflowers and birds he loved.

The sun caught the eye of the man. In a room of his apartment, with floor to ceiling windows to let the best light in, is a drawing table festooned with pens and brushes and inks. There are dozens of drawings and paintings of birds, of the sun, of dinosaurs.

The man had once studied at seminary to enter the priesthood. It didn’t take, but it had a heavy influence on his spirituality. In the end, he came to Buddhism…perhaps because of the meditative aspects, perhaps because of the inward focus. In time, he led groups in the practices of Buddhism.

The man was concerned about the well-being of others. For many years, he worked as a social worker. In later years, after he retired, he worked in an outreach program for helping people learn English as a second language.
He was going to work in another program to encourage and help foster children to go to college.

Despite having a severe bad reaction to sugar, the man LOVED cookie, with CookieFest being a highlight of his year for several years. There was no one he wouldn’t approach and strike up a conversation with, and no one who wouldn’t engage with him.

He was married for several years. And he raised the most wonderful girl in the universe.

They say that when someone dies, they’re gone, and all we’re left with are the memories of who they were. But sometimes we’re left with an example, of how someone can live their lives, working every day, and still find time to enjoy every day – whether discussing arpeggios with his son in law, or sailing a styrofoam sailboat in the bay (and getting a wicked sunburn), or simply sitting quietly with a pad, trying to draw the reptile skull on the shelf

And we realize that someone who was just a man hasn’t only left us memories.
He’s left us an example we can follow of a life well lived – a life lived with the companionship of close friends, the security of high ideals, and the unabashed love of family.

And puns. Good lord, did that guy love puns.

And he will be missed.

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Trifecta: Death Takes A Holiday – Part 2


Today’s Music: Cutting Crew – I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight
Note On Today’s Music: Hey, if you’re gonna go with a cheesy story, you should have a cheesy song to match…

This is not a link back to Reapers With Issues, or the accompanying limerick.
No, this is a completely different link!

This week, the finely fettled folks at Trifecta picked the third definition of the word Death
(3 capitalized : the destroyer of life represented usually as a skeleton with a scythe).

And to make it even M O R E, this also links up with the gloriously fabulous AccordingToMags (Part 1), and the fabulously glorious OldDogNewTits (Part 3) for parts one and three.
Each stands well alone, all three fit well together. (like a trifecta!)(see what I did there?)(hehehe)

So start there, come here, then finish off the triad, as Death takes a holiday! (Or at least tries to…)

Death Takes A Holiday – Part 2

The tall gaunt figure strode across the beach, pale skin reflecting more than his garish teal and orange shorts. Others pulled back, clearing a path for him and his companions to the beachfront.
One companion followed, carrying a large cooler. He showed no discomfort under his robe, snapping gum excitedly with each step. The other companion lagged, his overweight body sweating profusely in the sun.
“Here” boomed the leader, pointing a bony finger.
“You got it Boss”, said the second, snapping his gum.
The first sighed. “It’s our day off, Nausea. No need to call me Boss.”
“Sorry boss”, said Nausea, settling the cooler.

“I got it!” shouted the third. “’I got the motive which is money, and the body which is dead!’ Bet you don’t know that one”.
The gaunt one smiled, a ghastly display of moldy recessed teeth. “In The Heat Of The Night.” He chuckled, a cavernous echoing sound. “Good try, George.”
George laughed. “I’ll stump you one day.”

The cadaverous fellow grinned, pulling out stacks of wood. He twisted and bent, unfolding them against their hinges to form three beautiful Adirondack chairs, which he and his companions fell into with sighs.
“You make these, boss?” asked Nausea, gum snapping.
”Well, carpentry is a hobby. It relieves stress.”
George said “You should see the stuff he made for my Accounting Office!”
They opened the cooler, enjoying cold drinks, snacks, conversation, until a scream disturbed them.

“Oh god!” shrieked a woman. “Harry! My god, he’s had a heart attack!” she wailed over the prone man beside her.
Nausea squinted at the vague outline of a spirit rising slowly. “No rest for guys like us, huh boss?” he asked, rising. His boss reached out, nudging Nausea into his chair. His other hand rose towards the spirit, clenched, and slammed down.
The spirit jerked back into its vessel. Harry coughed, sputtered, and sat up to stare at the trio.

The gaunt man settled in his chair, popping another beer.
“Death is off today.”

Friday Foolishness – Said and Done Edition


Today’s Music: Alfredo Armenteros (Chocolate) -Controlate
Note on Today’s Music: Apropos of nothing, some times you just need a little Cuban jazz to perk yourself up.

Instead of the usual highlighting of great blogs in this space, I’m going to keep it for me for a short serious moment before the foolishness: You. All. Rock.
The comments you left after my last post left me with smiles, warm fuzzies, and reinforcement in the belief that the people I’ve met online are the coolest people in the world.

And for that, and just being around, thank you! from the bottom of my heart.

But the show goes on, and these polls are such a delight for me that pushing on with them is therapy.
Last week’s poll asked What the next form of transportation should be. As always, y’all do not disappoint! Here’s what you said (My answers move along in italics.)
1981 DeLorean DMC-12. Naturally (Kanerva)
(Sure, until some crazy old scientist decides to turn it into a time machine. Seriously, who turns a Delorean into a time machine?!?)
a hearse…c’mon…it fits the theme (WG)
(Yeah,but that’s kind of a one way trip…)
Telekinesis. Afraid those w cranial concavity would call discrimination-Red
(I doubt they’d be able to understand it well enough to know they’re being discriminated against…)
The Transporter from Star Trek (SnB)
(It’s all fun and games until you’re destroyed by a plot device.)
A soul train, where we leave our bodies behind – Benzeknees
(Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk (Google it))
Sprout wings and fly!! Michelle at Motley News
(I believe Red Bull will be contacting you shortly.)
Warp Drive! Seriously – I read a thing on Yahoo about it. – Hotspur
(If it’s on the internet it must be true!)
Your back….you should really carry me around…Becca
(I’d love to, but the monkey on my back is heavy enought)
Wormholes but not the kind of holes worms go through – sandylikeabeach
(How about Pot holes? hehehe)
Fold arms and blink eyes (like Genie) (Stacy Lyn)
(I love travelling into a bottle!)
I vote for a bicycle with an easy chair for a seat. (Those tiny seats are awful!) Asplenia
(I’d rather just have the easy chair and stay in place…)
mental transport! Just thinking should be enough! NBI
(That eliminates 95% of the population.)
Otherwise something free and dry and comfy. NBI
(Travel by bed. I like it!)
Magic Carpets Stay Abnormal
(Ok, but you’ll need a flying broomstick to clean it…)
Magic Carpet. What can I say? I’m a romantic. ~flame
(So I’m guessing your carpet is “shag”.)
Pneumatic tube. Carrie Cannibalistic Nerd
(WE HAVE A WINNER!!!)
Elephants! We need this in the Western world! – Emily@ the Waiting
(I don’t know how to get on one, but they sure are easy to get off!)
Portals seem pretty classy – 25tofly
(The cake is a lie. (Google it.))
Piggybacking on dwarves. Joe Hoover
(Wouldn’t your feet drag along the ground?)
Portkey like in Harry Potter. I’m not using a toilet though. KJ
(Nono, you should use the toilet before you travel…)
Mental … just think about it and you’re transported! (Frank)
(Is a York Peppermint Patty the trigger?)
urban ziplines
(At last! A form of mass transit I’ll get a seat on!)

Congratulations to Carrie Cannibalistic Nerd
for this weeks winning answer! And from the available choices, the most popular was Jetpack. We really should have those by now. Hell. Yes. And congratulations to everyone who picked that too.

So here we are at this week. For me, rough week. Not impossible, just difficult. Since my mother did go through a long period of decline, her passing was not unexpected, which made it a little easier to process. And the relief that she is no longer suffering really does make it easier to take.
Fortunately, I also have a bent sense of humor. Which means that after she’s been interred, I’m left thinking about today’s question: When the time comes, what do I want done with my body?
Yeah, sometimes I think my sense of humor is the only thing that keeps me from going insane. Or keeps me insane. One of the two…
So here’s the poll. If you write an “other”, leave a way to identify you, and I’ll link back in next week’s post. Answer early, answer often. But answer by 2359 EST, 4 Oct. Because that’s when this one closes.

And in parting for the week, a clip including two things my mother loved: Muppets and Star Wars.
Hope you all enjoy it too.

And until next time, have a great week!