Friday, January 09, 2009

Yesterday was a Cold, Raw Day with a Blessing

We put Tony in the ground yesterday. There was only a graveside service, short and not enough for many of us. We are going to put on a wake in a few weeks. But, Tony’s family now knows how many people that golf badly, play poker badly, gamble badly and hang out at the corner bar love him. I’d put it at two to one, us, and family/family friends.

The cemetery folks weren’t ready for the onslaught but they coped.

The day had started out, for this part of the country, looking pretty good. Wednesday had brought rain. The forecast was for clear skies and something in the low fifties. That happened; but, the weather forecaster neglected to tell us that at about 11:00 a.m., the starting time, the wind was going to pick up.

I’d taken my overcoat from home and left it at the office, a mistake. We had tears from the event and from the cold.

The brief service ended. People milled about, smiling, talking, hugging. Given the brevity, we weren’t really ready to leave. I wandered around, smiling, talking and hugging, though I’m not always comfortable with that last one.

Here’s the blessing. A friend brought her daughter, a little bit of a girl of about a year and a half. She of course had no idea of what was going on, was cold and was hugging her mom for warmth if nothing else. I’d not met the young lady before, so I smiled and introduced myself. She gave me a look and retreated into the crook of her mother’s arm.

The adults among us talked a bit, me standing and she being held, in our positions. I looked at her and smiled. She reached into the baggy her mom was holding and took out a Cheerio. We were close enough that I only had to lean my head forward a bit to receive a bit of non-religious sacrament.

I backed up a bit and she reached back into the baggy and got another piece, holding it out. This time I got my Cheerio by hand, both of us smiling. Something or someone else got her attention and our moment was over.

All of your comments this week were also blessings.


steve said...

Alisha is,.... of course, one of the newer angels....
Ginger is one of the more established and regular part of that crew ANGEL crew ....

you always have had a way with the really young (little ones, holding them in the arms little ones ) -
maybe it's a trust thing - wish I had stayed long enuf yesterday to witness, but then, I know the really little ones warm up to you pretty quick...I have snaps of you charming Randy's kid from ten years ago.....

Michael the Fed said...

You still need to tell the New York story to someone besides me. Granted, it was almost as lame as one of my stories, but we have all been hearing you refuse to tell it for too many years.

The funeral was too cold, too sad and did not have the finality of most I have attended. I think the wake is a great idea, even after the fact. Telling Tony stories would be like an extended eulogy. (Please note that I already have a lame story for it. See above.)

His family seemed to be amazed at the turnout. I think Tony would have had the same reaction.

I have always been told that the true measure of a man's wealth is the number of his friends. Tony was truly blessed.


Anonymous said...

((((( [ )))))

These are my arms, and the middle part is that part right between the shoulder and neck.

Even from Phoenix it's not that far to reach, right?

Keith said...

Hey Dave,

Big Tony sounds like he was a great guy and a true friend. I'm glad that the turnout was real good, it means he had a lot of friends, true friends.

I loved your story about the little girl and the cheerios. I especially loved the way you described it as a non-religious sacrament. Awesome!

I wish you could go down to the orphanage with us one day, because I think the kids would really take a liking to you.


molly gras said...

cold, wind,

tears, emotions

The consistency of rawness non-surprisingly permeated

May the passage of time and the loving relationships you have sooth those raw edges.


DaleC said...

That Cheerio would mean more to me than any Communion I could imagine.