Pondering the Pavement

May 16, 2018

A Fun Walk, A Short Tear

walkinsSomeone sent this little ditty to me early this morning. I’m sure my neighbors really appreciated my garish laugh echoing throughout the apartment building at 4am. I feel we’re even since their dog wakes me up scampering across their wooden floor every morning (trim your dog’s nails for cryin’ out loud!).

I find this random tweet hysterically funny because it reminds me of one of the last fairly coherent conversations I had with my mother a few days prior to her passing last year. She was being visited by one of her distant cousins (by some kind of marriage, twice removed and with a side of slaw). The pseudo-relative’s personality makes Melba Toast seem like one spicy meatball, lemme tell ya.

Out of the blue my mother asked, “When are they taking me to the cemetery?”

Cousin Blasé Bland’s eyes widened as her head jerked back. Admittedly, I did a double take. I didn’t see that one coming (psychic boy that I am). “What did you say?” I asked. Don’t get me wrong, I heard her question quite clearly. I just wanted to see the cousin’s impression of a bobble head one more time.

Mom calmly said, “The cemetery. When will they take me there?”

“Soon,” I said softly. “It will be soon.”

DaCuz shot me a glance that just screamed, “STOP TALKING THAT WAY!” If reality were a cigarette, she would have been stomping it out with her boot.  Mom and I had “the talk” some time earlier. She knew she was dying. This was not a time for secrets.

Mom asked simply, “Tomorrow?”

“C’mon, Mom,” I replied automatically, “you have to meet us halfway. You have to die first.”

I honestly thought the pseudo-relative was going to implode onto herself. Her mouth gaped open, swaying in the wind of mom’s oxygen machine. Her glazed eyes mirrored those of Kimba the White Lion.

Mom, however, chuckled from the confines of her bed. After a well-timed pause (because timing IS everything), she said matter-of-factly, “I bet I could get a discount if I walked in myself.”

I burst out laughing, as is my custom. The Quasi-Cousin was horrifyingly appalled. Win/Win in my opinion. After the woman hurriedly left (within 5 minutes–she honestly couldn’t get out fast enough), Mom whispered, “Some people just don’t have a sense of humor, do they?”

I’ve said it many times before and I know I will utter these words many more times down the road (even from the other side, I’m sure): “Life IS the ultimate joke and the Dead ‘get it’.” Share the smiles, folks. It’s what helps keep us alive…

Here AND “There.”

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