“Lease,” said my parents, or my older siblings, “would you do me a favor?”
Mostly I did it, whatever “it” was. Or my brother, Fred, did it. We were the youngest, and were the runners, who went to get a Coke, or a pretzel, or a snack for our older family members. Even now, we’re still doing favors.
But there was one “favor” that none of my siblings did for Fred and me. But they should have.
You know if you’ve been reading my blogs, that my eldest brother Bob recently died. He didn’t do this favor for me. Neither did my sister Beth, who died in 2009. Nor did Judy, who kicked the bucket unexpectedly in 2000. Nobody knows when they’re going.
DO YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS A FAVOR.
MAKE A WILL. MAKE A LIVING WILL AND A MEDICAL DIRECTIVE.
TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT DONE WITH YOUR REMAINS. WITH YOUR STUFF.
My brother Bob died without a will. Actually, he DID have a will, and a Power of Attorney — we found that he’d bought forms to be filled out, but they were still in the shrink-wrap. I wanted to kill him. Without letting anybody know IN WRITING, what he wanted done with what, it was all guesswork.
Yes, when he was deathly ill, I had to trust my wonky memory of random conversations of what he would want. I hope I remembered correctly, given that he died and I can’t change any of those decisions. What did he want done regarding “heroic” measures by the doctors? What should we do with his remains — burial? cremating? And then what to do with those remains …
Did we do what he’d want? I hope so. We certainly tried.
Do yourself and your family members a favor. Or maybe a few favors:
We took Bob to see one last sunset, before releasing him into the Gulf of Mexico. I hope he is happy and resting in peace.
Some things never change.
“That boy was NEVER where he was supposed to be!” That was Mom’s mantra whenever telling her favorite stories of our childhood. Invariably they involved Bob. (It sucks to be a late entry into a big family.)
“People talk about the ‘terrible twos!” she’d say. “Well Bob was “a terrible two” for five years!”
Everybody agreed that Bob was quite a handful.
If you believe the stories, even before he could walk, Bob could escape:
He would leave the house, and appear at local businesses in his jammies. He went to the local bakery where he was given donuts, at the local restaurants where he was given pancakes, and at the homes of relatives who lived in the neighborhood. Usually before they had started their day. He was a friendly little tike. Or else he was hungry.
“I’m sure the whole neighborhood thought I was starving that kid!” Mom laughed. “I was mortified, and terrified that somebody would call the police on me for neglecting my son.”
Well, somethings never change.
Bob, after his death, escaped. And it cracked me up.
Bob was supposed to be sent to one funeral home, but he was sent to a different one. It took nearly 24 hours to get him to the correct place.
I love the idea that Bob wandered around town, one last time. I hope someone gave him a donut.
Some things never change.
Sunday mornings in my house growing up were dedicated to the Sunday Funnies, the comics, in the Bridgeport Post. While my dad always tried to convince me that Lil’ Abner was funny (it wasn’t), I loved Ripley’s Believe it or Not! I read it faithfully, for years.
It’s been years since I read it though. I chalk it up to reading the news online instead of on paper. The Funnies are not as easy to find online.
But just today, the Funnies made it to the “Real News”! Or it should have. You see, this story is A FRONT-PAGE-WORTHY story. A Believe it or NOT! classic.
In my adopted home state of Virginia, in the 5th Congressional District which includes Charlottesville, the GOP recently put forth Denver Riggleman to run for Congress. This change occurred when the incumbent, Republican Rep. Tom Garrett, retired following allegations that he and his wife made his staff do menial tasks including walking the couple’s dog.
But with Riggleman, the fur really starts to fly. You see, he, ummm, put his Big Foot in his mouth with his Instagram account:
That question has been inspired by Leslie Cockburn, a Democrat who’s running for Congress in Virginia’s 5th District. On Twitter this Sunday, Cockburn accused her Republican opponent, Denver Riggleman, of being a “devotee of Bigfoot erotica.” Her tweet included a crudely drawn image of Bigfoot — with the monster’s genitalia obscured — taken from Riggleman’s Instagram account. She added, “This is not what we need on Capitol Hill.”
After showing that image, I promise to not comment on the Democratic candidate’s name. I promise. Anybody got any duct tape??????
I agree that we don’t really need someone in the United States Congress who believes in Big Foot but not climate change. Who doesn’t realize that this is not an issue that Virginians care about. Who believes that there are women who want Big Foot — although if it weren’t for the small hands, that might explain Trump’s allure.
So, My Fellow Americans, in 2018 we find ourselves as a nation drawn into the Sunday Funnies. Into Ripley’s Believe it or NOT!
I can’t wait to hear how the Evangelicals will spin this one!