I was walking back to my car today after yet another funeral when I saw a decal on the back window of a pickup truck, "Girls like big racks too!". Yup, that just about sums it up for Earl's funeral -- and where is your mind?! There was a picture of deer antlers on that decal. I'm pretty sure this is the first funeral I've been to with antler decor, but it was apropos.
Earl was big on
poaching, hunting, fishing, camping,
etc. Earl's son, my nephew, gave a
heart-felt talk at the funeral and said he would see his father in the water of
the river when he fishes and feel him in the breeze when he's in the woods.
My secluded childhood neighborhood in the woods didn't provide many neighbors. When Sis married Earl it was like she married our step-brother, especially since the Glen is an inbred place where everyone is related in one way or another. An old lady told me how the Hendershots are related to the Huggs to the Mortons... but all roads lead to the Noonans like 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon -- who is probably related to the Noonans too.
The word of the week, "Passion", caused me to journal angry thoughts about Earl. Happy memories would force their way into my thoughts and I'd get pissed off all over again that he was messing with my clear-cut, justifiable anger, but I suppose things aren't simple when we're talking a lifetime of memories? My moments of grief made me even more pissed off when thinking of his sudden heart attack this week at age 59.
I hate funerals, and despite my vow that I wouldn't go to any more, it seems like I've been to a lot of them lately. This one seemed to do what funerals are supposed to do though, it helped me feel more at peace. I hugged my nephews and caught up with people who live in my heart's memory.
I'd rather remember stuff like parties, picnics, serious talks about fishing, the halo of sunlight on Earl's red head as he played with his laughing red-headed boys in the river. Or how he tried charming Grandma and Dad, who both looked formidable despite Earl's best efforts until he got them laughing and they had to remember to look formidable.
I want to sort people in clear slots in my mind. Good/bad. There's a complexity that defies classification when you've known someone always, and another loss when I realize that another piece of my childhood, my life, is dead.
I feel for my nephews. Earl loved them, and it's hard to lose a parent. I think he loved Sis too, despite their divorce. I'm wishing all of you the good memories in the light of antler lamps.
It's been a hard week in more ways than one, and then I got something in the mail that made me smile and feel grateful. Dosanko Debbie sent me a lovely New Year's piece of art that lifted my heart at a time I really needed it lifted. I just love the jar full of little sheep! Totally adorable, and I'm going to frame it to celebrate this ovine year of the Chinese calendar. Even the envelope is beautiful. Check out her website here. Each of her paintings is a truth of life and quite a gem. THANK YOU!!!