Give me my flowers as I live so I can smell them


I took Miss Cathy to another funeral this morning. They seem to be one of the few things she gets dressed and leaves the apartment for these days. Hey, I’m just glad she’s getting out and “getting some air on her” as she used to say to my brother and me when we were little and she wanted us out of the house (and out of her hair).

It’s a fact of life that as you get old-old people around you start to die. Years ago, I remember asking my Pop about death and dying after so many of his friends crossed over. There was a period of time when it seemed that almost every time I called home he (or they) were going to a funeral. At the time this phenomenon was specific to Pop because he was considerably older than mom so they had friends almost a generation apart.

As a former New Yorker, where going to a shrink is as common as getting your bagel with a “smear”, I was prone to “navel gazing “ and introspection after my time on the couch so I asked him how he “felt” about his peer group passing on. He looked at me as if I wasn’t as smart as he’d given me credit for and said, “Well, how do you think I feel?” “ After your last friend dies all you’re doing is waiting for your turn.”

Now I’m wondering if Miss Cathy is thinking the same thing because the mood has been a little funereal around here. It doesn’t help that the sermon she was listening to yesterday on Sunday morning television was all about “Love, peace and passing on”.

She doesn’t get maudlin and she’s not a very sentimental person but every now and then, she gets reflective-especially around occasions like the one today.

So, yesterday, I was surprised when she stopped me as I walked through the living room, past the reverend and his sermon, on my way out to the balcony to enjoy the cool morning air. She said she wanted to tell me that she never forgot a trip I made in my car from Kansas City a few years ago when I drove nonstop and slept in my car for a few hours before getting here as soon as I could.

She said that it touched her heart that I would show my love for family by dropping everything and doing what I did. I told her it meant alot to me to hear her say that. I started to well up watching her get misty-eyed.

“I believe in letting people know what they mean to me while they’re around to hear it”, she said, “some people wait till it’s time to go to a funereal to let what they feel be known.” “I don’t believe in all that, that’s just a “show”.

Then she looked me in the eyes and said, “Give me my flowers as I live so I can smell them.”

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