Posts Tagged ‘family’

An American Funeral

Loving and spirited, never shy about sharing an opinion, she had filled her 70-plus years in ways both ordinary and not so ordinary, including honorable service as a U. S. Marine back when women were told their place was in the kitchen. Had grief not clouded their thinking, the family could have gotten her an honor guard with a 21-gun salute, “Taps,” and a flag, but they thought about it too late. To me it was a shame, not just because it was an honor she richly deserved, but because I would dearly have loved to see the reaction to the 21-gun salute from the other residents of the apartment building whose party room hosted this event.

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Hey, Dad

We shared this planet for fifty years. We lived through cold below freezing, and we lived through heat and mosquitoes. We saw Mexico together. He gave me rides on his motorcycle and let me drive his Jeep when I was far too young. He let me know that Bob Dylan is just a poet and not a singer and wondered why people spend good money on records and tapes when FM radio is just fine and free.

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A Letter to the Kid

The other adults in your life aren’t blameless either. We’ve all let you down, including me. Sometimes we’ve let our own lives distract us. Sometimes we’ve let ourselves get worn down by the battles necessary to get permission to participate in your life as much as we want to. Sometimes we’ve let you make us angry despite knowing that was what you were trying to do, or held your behavior to standards we haven’t taught you to meet. Sometimes we’ve just forgotten that your life has taught you to hide your feelings, and we haven’t worked hard enough to find out what you were keeping hidden.

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