mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
Carl lived in this neighborhood a bit longer than I have. My family moved here in 1971 when I was five.  I used to go over to his house across the street when I was little and play with one of his many grandsons, Chris. We were friendly, but never friends.

The Ragusa's were Italian. I remember his house, especially the kitchen, being thick with the smell of garlic, oregano, and the homemade wine he use to make from his fruit trees, usually pear. His wife, Therese, was Old Country, and spoke clear, but accented English. She called me "Williams", in spite of my many attempts to correct her. The last time I was at his house as a child - I must have been ten years old - he still walked me to the end of his long driveway to see me safely across the street.

Courtesy snip... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
Carl lived in this neighborhood a bit longer than I have. My family moved here in 1971 when I was five.  I used to go over to his house across the street when I was little and play with one of his many grandsons, Chris. We were friendly, but never friends.

The Ragusa's were Italian. I remember his house, especially the kitchen, being thick with the smell of garlic, oregano, and the homemade wine he use to make from his fruit trees, usually pear. His wife, Therese, was Old Country, and spoke clear, but accented English. She called me "Williams", in spite of my many attempts to correct her. The last time I was at his house as a child - I must have been ten years old - he still walked me to the end of his long driveway to see me safely across the street.

Courtesy snip... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
A tale mostly told...

The day of my father's funeral, when all the services were done, respects paid and hands shaken, the family went back to Grandpa Wallick's house on "O" street, less than a mile from the cemetery.

Working through the story... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
A tale mostly told...

The day of my father's funeral, when all the services were done, respects paid and hands shaken, the family went back to Grandpa Wallick's house on "O" street, less than a mile from the cemetery.

Working through the story... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
This is probably the hardest entry I have ever written. It's long, and pretty sad in a lot of ways. You can skip this one if you like, you won't hurt my feelings. Writing is a nice place to grieve, and I'm still working out my feelings. This is all part of it.

It was the day of my mother's funeral, and it was snowing.

I like that line, a lot. It is instantly descriptive, instantly - though non-specifically - evocative. The reader, that would be you, by the way, is free to fill in any imagery that pleases. And you will be seeing it again, at least once more.

My mother's passing was not a sad affair. I'm sad for my loss, to be sure, but mother finally got what she wanted: an end to Earthly pain, and she'd had a lot of it even before marrying "Mr. Bullshit and Turnips." Loss ganged up on her in 1977, when she lost her third son to suicide and her mother to age, and again in 1984 when first her father died, then a month later her husband, then six months later her last remaining relative, the legendary Aunt Kathryn. How she was able to hold on until 2006 I'll never understand beyond pharmaceuticals.

The little funeral program had, like so many of them do, a little scripture inside. Most of the time, you get the 23rd Psalm, or the little bit from the Gospels (or was it Paul..?) that says, in effect, "From the dust of the ground the Lord formed you, and to the dust ye shall return." I brought you into this world, and I can take you back out and make another one just like you. Something like that, anyway.

Not this funeral card. Courtesy snip... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
This is probably the hardest entry I have ever written. It's long, and pretty sad in a lot of ways. You can skip this one if you like, you won't hurt my feelings. Writing is a nice place to grieve, and I'm still working out my feelings. This is all part of it.

It was the day of my mother's funeral, and it was snowing.

I like that line, a lot. It is instantly descriptive, instantly - though non-specifically - evocative. The reader, that would be you, by the way, is free to fill in any imagery that pleases. And you will be seeing it again, at least once more.

My mother's passing was not a sad affair. I'm sad for my loss, to be sure, but mother finally got what she wanted: an end to Earthly pain, and she'd had a lot of it even before marrying "Mr. Bullshit and Turnips." Loss ganged up on her in 1977, when she lost her third son to suicide and her mother to age, and again in 1984 when first her father died, then a month later her husband, then six months later her last remaining relative, the legendary Aunt Kathryn. How she was able to hold on until 2006 I'll never understand beyond pharmaceuticals.

The little funeral program had, like so many of them do, a little scripture inside. Most of the time, you get the 23rd Psalm, or the little bit from the Gospels (or was it Paul..?) that says, in effect, "From the dust of the ground the Lord formed you, and to the dust ye shall return." I brought you into this world, and I can take you back out and make another one just like you. Something like that, anyway.

Not this funeral card. Courtesy snip... )
mapsedge: (scowl)
There's a lot of exposition in this story. It would have been easier just to have been there, dear reader, but you wouldn't have enjoyed it. It's long, but it does get entertaining. Really.

It was my mother's funeral, and outside the snow was beginning to ease up. The church wasn't full, not in a town this size and with many of mom's friends dead or too old to make the trip from wherever they lived, but it was a respectable showing, and it was enough: enough that the speakers could be heard, enough that the quiet laughter at humorous memories sounded appreciative rather than lonely.

Not enough to drown out my son's protestations at having his freedom curtailed. When you're sixteen months old, whaddareya gonna do? Fuss, that's what. That's what toddlers do.

[livejournal.com profile] mljm</> finished her music and came down to sit with us. When J became too boisterous, she left with him, God bless her. I've been told over and over that the sound of a child in a church is no big deal, often welcomed by the older members of the congregation who love the life it brings and, truth be known, probably can't hear it anyway, but it ruins the experience for me and always has. We should have kept him around though: he might have enjoyed the circus to come.The Madness of King Joe. )
mapsedge: (scowl)
There's a lot of exposition in this story. It would have been easier just to have been there, dear reader, but you wouldn't have enjoyed it. It's long, but it does get entertaining. Really.

It was my mother's funeral, and outside the snow was beginning to ease up. The church wasn't full, not in a town this size and with many of mom's friends dead or too old to make the trip from wherever they lived, but it was a respectable showing, and it was enough: enough that the speakers could be heard, enough that the quiet laughter at humorous memories sounded appreciative rather than lonely.

Not enough to drown out my son's protestations at having his freedom curtailed. When you're sixteen months old, whaddareya gonna do? Fuss, that's what. That's what toddlers do.

[livejournal.com profile] mljm</> finished her music and came down to sit with us. When J became too boisterous, she left with him, God bless her. I've been told over and over that the sound of a child in a church is no big deal, often welcomed by the older members of the congregation who love the life it brings and, truth be known, probably can't hear it anyway, but it ruins the experience for me and always has. We should have kept him around though: he might have enjoyed the circus to come.The Madness of King Joe. )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (hat)
With apologies to [livejournal.com profile] fantomas71.

It was the day of my mother's funeral, and it was snowing.

Death visits Nebraska... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (hat)
With apologies to [livejournal.com profile] fantomas71.

It was the day of my mother's funeral, and it was snowing.

Death visits Nebraska... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
I'm not really ready to write about this, though I want to just for the catharsis of it, because I need to get the facts down before my foggy synapses lose the memories. The quick facts, then, and to bed. After a day spent toolin' all over south-Eastern Nebraska, I'm pooped. No, more than pooped. Fucked-up-exhausted.

My mother died this morning at 12:43. Courtesy snip... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
I'm not really ready to write about this, though I want to just for the catharsis of it, because I need to get the facts down before my foggy synapses lose the memories. The quick facts, then, and to bed. After a day spent toolin' all over south-Eastern Nebraska, I'm pooped. No, more than pooped. Fucked-up-exhausted.

My mother died this morning at 12:43. Courtesy snip... )

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