my aunt’s memorial ~ poem 85

Tonight my sister Linda and I drove to Milan, Indiana for my aunt Evelyn’s memorial. I didn’t really know my aunt well but I remember every time I did see her she was smiling. She and Uncle Fred lived in the next state but it seemed further away than it is and I only saw them at big family gatherings.

Since she had been cremated, there was no body to file past. Although I think the body in a casket is kind of creepy, I have to admit I felt an absence tonight at the funeral home. There were photos of her with her kids and grandkids and even a computer slide show but it wasn’t until the ride home that Linda told me her ashes were in the box in the front of the room.

In any case, I went to see my Uncle Fred. He is the last surviving sibling of my now deceased mother. Uncle Lou went suddenly from a heart attack. It hit me hard because of its suddenness and also because he was such a lovable guy. He always greeted me with enthusiasm and made me feel special. I called him my positive male role model.

Fred, on the other hand, has a quirky sense of humor and is more elusive. The one bond we shared was the fact that he loved peanut butter. Back in the 50s and 60s, we would tease him about putting peanut butter on toast. Now I don’t consider it so strange. Tonight, before we left, I gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek and wrote my phone number on a sheet of paper. He knows where Sears is at my closest shopping mall. I told him “The next time you drive to Ohio to come to Sears, call me.” His quick retort: “Do I have to be going to Sears?” Fred, just stay in touch! I asked him if he had people around him who would take care of him and he answered, “Yeah, they’ll drive me crazy!” I asked if our family was known for our sense of humor: Yes.


goodbye to someone I hardly knew.
I’m glad you seem so happy,
at least every time the camera went off.

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