Drifting thoughts of a snowflake

Friday, June 11, 2004


I ran home at lunch to grab some stuff for later today and to get a bite to eat. I sat down with my clam chowder, and turned on the TV. Every channel was the same – Reagan’s funeral. For some reason the vision of the casket, Mrs. Reagan, and the flags cemented me to the screen. I started to cry, and I don’t even like Reagan. I got in a fight with my husband yesterday because he likes the man. I chastised the hubby for being insensitive to social issues, and basically called him an idiot for being sad over it. And there I was sobbing into my bowl of soup.

As I stared at the military personal carrying the flag laden box to the foreboding limousine, I realized I was crying over my grandfather. Poppy’s funeral was muddled with my father’s bitterness and other family dysfunctions. The day I found out my grandfather died, I called my Dad to give him my condolences. I got a lashing from him that I will never forget. From my Dad’s point of view, I am a selfish bitch who wouldn’t take time out of her schedule to see the man before he died. The truth is that I loved Poppy more than anything, and I thought when he told me I had a month that I really did have a month. I decided to leave the next weekend to go see him. He died two days before I got there.

I was ostracized from the rest of my family at the funeral. I wasn’t allowed to sit with them during the ceremonies, and I wasn’t invited to the wake. I was an outsider at one of the most important people in my life’s funeral. Outside the church I broke down and walked off to try and compose myself. I faintly told my father I was sorry for his loss, and I haven’t spoken a word to him since. I doubt I will ever speak to him again, as the memory of him telling me that he doesn’t love me leaves no room for reconciliation.

And yet, in all of this I wondered where Poppy was. Did I mourn him, or my loss of family? I wish I went up two days earlier. I wish I had visited him more often. I wish I wrote down all of those stories he told me about the war and growing up in the twenties, or the story about how he met my grandmother. I wish I could go fishing with him again, or dance with him again like we did at my wedding.

No wonder I still talk to him all the time. I don’t think I made it a point to mourn him; I just made it a point to survive that weekend. I guess it’s time I start to say goodbye.

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