Monday, September 24, 2007

a home (or 2 or 3) away from home

mom and i went to a funeral last week. the deceased was a long time family friend. mom and dad went to sunday school with him for 45-50 years. in fact, that group of my parents' s.s. class went to the church in this photo 3 times a week together, played bridge together at least once a month for almost as long, partied on new years together every year, the ladies probably gave a thousand baby and wedding showers together over the years and our families went camping together almost every weekend of every summer.

i grew up under their collective, watchful eyes right along with their kids. mom's generation raised the families and grew old together. in other words, we knew each really well. they were my mom's best friends and yet . . . at the funeral she barely recognized any but a very few of the survivors of that closely-knit group.

- still, it was an opportunity for us to talk, for her to try to remember and for me to practice quiet acceptance and loss.

(there's a picture somewhere of 5 of the dads water skiing behind one boat. they're all mostly in their mid to late 40s, i'd guess. it speaks volumes about that group and how, between the church and the lake, we had several homes away from home. if *i* ever locate the photo i'll post it here. it's an awesome sight to see even if you don't know them.)

On the way home we decided to visit dad's grave at a different cemetery. as we approached it i pointed out Northpark, a local shopping center mom frequented. (for those of you who know her, you'll laugh at that understatement.)

"uh huh. my home away from home," she laughed.

i thought it was odd she'd remember that little joke but not the people at the funeral. i told her a story of one of her last shopping visits there. sadly, she didn't remember any of that, either.
(if you click here and scroll down to bottom, that story is told by her accomplice in the 2nd to last comment.)

in this photo, that's Northpark in the background. Neiman-Marcus is to the right just out of view.

dad said he bought that plot so Mary Anne would always be close to Neiman's. she didn't remember the anecdote, but she sure did think it was funny. click on the picture and you can see a slight grin as she's thinking about that. (you can see her new shoes too, lynn anne.)

...then she asked me why the slab was so big...
the question flat-out astonished me.

i told her Joe saved a place for her beside him...she said, "oh."

this picture astonishes me, too. that's mom and dad circa 1948. they made a pretty glamorous couple, i think.


flintysooner said...

Very glamorous. And he is in his uniform, too. The war and the depression were such looming events that impacted their lives. Strangely enough they continue to impact mine, too.

I can only imagine the impact of the question about the marker. That's tough.

Beautiful church, too. Makes one think of a time that seemed to be less complex and more easily understood. Even though we know it only seemed that way.

My parents had friends like the ones you describe and those friends were also in their Sunday school class. What a great thing that was.

I'll be in Dallas eventually either on business or pleasure. I'll email you and maybe we can meet. I'd like to dine in Javier's again.

cornbread hell said...

it's great to hear from you. i held off so long posting about going to the funeral i was able to leave out the references to you and yours. i hope you continue to be strong.

javier's used to be less than a mile or 2 from my place. i haven't been there in years and have no idea where it is now, but that sounds Great. i hope it happens.

war and depression, those relentless bastards... they seem to follow us around on soft shoe taps. i even have a sometimes recurring dream where i conquer them both.

i hope you rest well, terry.
you're a damn good human bean.

Anonymous said...

This is a Beautiful , Rick. Your parents made a sweet couple.

My parent to had friends and cousins we saw all the time, with camping trailer trip in the summer to the ocean. They would circle the trailers like a wagon train with a bon fire in the middle. Fun care free days. What a wonderful time and generation of people.
Right now I am finding it hard dealing with aging family, death etc.. I wish I was God , so that I could rearrange a few things .

cornbread hell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cornbread hell said...

i love the thought of your family's *wagon train* circled up and the campfire there in the middle. that's a perfect picture.

:: gina :: said...

look who's talking, lol. when was your last post? lol. good to be back. don't keep us in suspense, update, update, update!