My first memory of death was Susan. Beautiful, stoic, reliable in letting you know when the sun was on the rise. It was an unfortunate run-in with ant poison that killed him. Yes, Susan was our rooster who's gender was mistaken for female until chick puberty proved him male but the name stuck. I remember my mother telling me that Susan was now in a better place and we could go to the feed store and I could pick out a new chick when spring came.
My first memory of my step-dads family is being at his brother's house, riding four-wheelers, eating, and playing outside until it was too dark. Even then there were fire-flies to be jarred. I remember Uncle Ronnie asking and insisting if I was 'getin' myself something to eat,' 'didja git enough to eat,' 'be sure and getcha some food now, girl.' I must have been 5 or 6 when I opened the refrigerator and found a bowl of frog legs floating in water. I still haven't eaten frog legs and I believe my own end will come without that distinction.
On Friday Uncle Ronnie was buried and he left his 2 children just beginning their own families at the all-too-young age of 59. No, we cannot pick a new him up from the feed store come spring. My heart-felt words of sympathy are little compared to the pain that will come weeks from now when the calls stop and the food quits just showing up. The quiet of that house must be deafening and exhausting in the most overwhelming sense. There is an appointment card on the refrigerator with his name on it- he's got a 2:00 in June. Does that Doctor's office already know? Do you call to cancel? Do you throw away the card?
Do you still sleep on 'your' side of the bed?
Who is going to make sure that everybody gets enough to eat at the Christmas party?
On my way home from the service I realized that I will be attending many more services not too much unlike this. I will attend more because that is the virtue of having a large blended family. I will be left with my version of their love and how they made people feel important or validated. I will be left, similarly but not always as significantly, by many.
This lead to how would others experience me. . . . .
Dallas social services worker dies in unfortunate karaoke incident in the wee hours of Saturday. She was mid-chorus of an unparalleled version of 9-5 when a speaker gave way to her inspiring vocal sound. She is survived by family, friends, and countless cats that described her as "fierce for social justice" and "quick to make a joke." Services will be held during Happy Hour at several locations around town. We are asking that any donation be made to the city of Dallas to pay off her numerous parking tickets.
Her body was donated to science and her liver is currently undergoing testing for abnormal regenerative qualities.
Friends of M.I.A. say that she will be remembered most for snorting while laughing and talent for bad break-ups. "Borrowing" music rounds out the top 5.
M.I.A. '78-'07 "uh, I'm not judging.... I'm just finger-pointing."