Veering from the script today to remember one of my favorite people.
Seamus was born in Derry, Ireland in 1940. I don’t know when he came to Michigan, but I believe it was close to 40 years ago.
I’m not certain, but I seem to remember him saying he’d not been back since. His twin sister still lives there to this day, and his children made their own pilgrimage as young adults.
He has a wife, two living children, four grandchildren, and one son who passed away several years back.
I first saw Seamus when he spoke to my college Irish history class about growing up during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Not too much later I saw him manning the door at the local Irish pub, and decided to introduce myself.
This week in Freelance Activity of Various Sorts…
On Monday and Wednesday, my book buddy and I audited a class about dead stuff.
Those of you that know me know just how typical this is. For the rest of you, the lowdown is thus:
The pudgy Hispanic boy two driveways over momentarily distracted the robin from his search. After a second’s pause, he returned his beak to the matted leaves in the gutter. There had to be a worm in there. Anything less was a waste of time. Spring was, after all, very short.
The boy, facing the street, looked backward over his shoulder, and hefted his basketball up and over his head. The ball disappeared behind him, perhaps into the net. Perhaps not.
Leaves jumped to the left and to the right as the bird picked at small sticks and wrinkled candy wrappers.
From the car, she watched all of this, while a man in LA told her the day’s economic news through the radio. It wasn’t terribly encouraging news, but the man had a nice voice.
I don’t markedly observe death dates. I don’t feel ‘down’ or visit the cemetery; I don’t mention the fact to those who don’t already know. I think about the significance of the date, sure, but I like to keep my annual rituals happy – there’s already enough to be blue about in the world.
The only thing I do is draw little black curtains around the day on my calendars. It’s enough for me, and adds just the right touch of drama. Fitting.
But today is different. It is the 15th anniversary of my father’s death.
My husband works second shift in a cargo office at our local airport. My 9-5 is just minutes down the road, and I occasionally visit him afterward for a dinner date.
What is airline cargo, you ask? Parts? Tools? Merchandise? Yes. Pets too? Most certainly. Many pure-bred puppies and kittens spend frustrated hours caged-up in his office, nicely complementing the stank of stale cigar already hanging in the air.
But you may not guess what the most common type of cargo is – the shipments that take up most of my husband’s time, and are so large that they must be driven in a cart from air craft to cargo office to customer vehicle.
Have you even been convinced that you’re going to be a statistic?
One little bump on the head, and you’re most certainly experiencing intracranial bleeding.
A tired day and you have a rare form of cancer.
My husband’s mother died.
And before anything else, I’m telling you that she was a damn fine mother-in-law, the best I could have asked for. She always offered wisdom from experience, but never imposed her opinions in a way that made me feel like the child I probably was. She happily gave me her son, and regularly invited us over for excellent meals. Her character was the epitome of southern hospitality mixed with the class of the educated. Plus, she liked the Traveling Wilburys.
A few months after she retired and turned 60, her life paused, and then stopped.
And I felt so oddly distanced from that.